Singer-songwriter Elliot Smith was found dead on Tuesday, apparently by suicide. This is very sad news for me and other Elliot fans around the world. I’ve loved his bittersweet lyrics and skilled guitar playing ever since my sister gave me one of his albums for christmas, and this along with the other albums I’ve aquired have been frequently played.

Here are some news sources about his tragic death: Aftenposten (in norwegian), Slate, and Pitchfork Media. Update 24.10: In relation to Elliot’s death, Paul Ford has written a thoughtful essay on the relationship between creativity and destructiveness, entitled Easy Way Out.

Last week the Films From the South festival was on, and although I worked a couple of the evenings, I still managed to see some of the movies they screened. The festival started off a bit slow – I didn’t see the first until Monday evening, then on Saturday I saw four, two documentaries and two full lenght movies. A long day in the theatres, but it was worth it to see movies different from the standard Hollywood fare of violence, sex and marketing hype.

Of course, not all the movies were equally good, but the ones I strongly recommend are At Five in the Afternoon from Iran, about an Afghan girl who wants to be president, and the Argentinian Historias Minimas. The next film festival coming up is Oslo International Film Festival, at the end of November. The autumn is a busy season for the film lovers of Oslo…