White Stripes Documentarian Plans Film, Album, and Book About Nick Drake

     July 8, 2010


The all-too-brief life of folk singer Nick Drake doesn’t necessarily fit the traditional arc of the modern musical biopic, but there’s plenty of substance for a capable filmmaker to explore in the form of cinema.  Enter Emmett Malloy, co-founder of Brushfire Records and director of The White Stripes’ well-received Canadian tour doc Under Great White Northern Lights.  Malloy is planning a “nice, multilayered piece” to celebrate Drake’s life, including a documentary, a tribute album, and a book.  Details after the jump.

the_white_stripes_under_great_white_northern_lights_posterMalloy isn’t the first filmmaker to be inspired by Drake’s three-album career, and he recognizes the inherent difficulties of the endeavor.  He told Billboard [via The Playlist ]:

“Tribute projects, they’re a dime a dozen.  I’m sure there’s been fifty attempts at this, from every angle.  It’s so complicated to get them started and to let people know it’s the real one.”

The White Stripes doc ought to lend the man some credibility after a world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2009.  (Fun fact: Malloy also co-directed the 2001 snowboarding comedy Out Cold featuring an early on-screen appearance by Zach Galfianakis.  I don’t know how you keep score, but in my books that goes in the plus column.)

To be frank, I’m not much of a fan of the Brushfire roster that’s obviously available for the tribute album.  And sure enough, the label’s Matt Costa and Jack Johnson are already on board.  But respect for Drake runs deep enough that Malloy should be able to attract some quality talent.  To wit,

“I know that with that [Drake] name, we’ll get some great ones.  I’m just fighting my way through to get the artists I feel will do it justice.  I’m excited to get going on it [because] there’s so many great songs.”

Promisingly, non-Brushfire violinist Andrew Bird has agreed to do a song.  Somebody should probably give Beck a call, what with his cover of Drake’s “Pink Moon” and his willingness to work in the movie business.

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