Patti Smith: Dream Of Life

Dir: Steven Sebring, 2008. Starring: Patti Smith & Others...Documentary
Patti Smith: Dream Of Life

OH TO DREAM... Patti Smith: Dream Of Life falls in the realm of documentary, I suppose, but really I'd like to call it a "musical document" for the sake of this writing and my own personal flare for "adjectivery." I never would have "dreamed" I would be into a film about Patti Smith [it's true]. For whatever reason she had never really made a blip on my radar outside of her popularized "G-L-O-R-I-A."

INWARDS & INNARDS Wandering around a room partially full of keepsakes and other remnants we find Patti Smith, a curious soul. She states that this film has been in the works for 10 years and that she will not be leaving this room until the film is completed. What follows is a series of explanations and events exploring her inner workings and outer experiences [family, death, art, friends, politics], all obvious, subtle and having an underlying strange honesty to them that seems clearly unique to her. I was impressed. She talks to us about certain objects in the room as if recreating some kind of "show and tell" experience from childhood. Books, photographs, a guitar Bob Dylan once played, her son's baby clothes, her own childhood dress, Robert Mapplethorpe's ashes, artifacts, all surrounding her as she builds a cluttered memory chamber. She brings more into the room throughout the duration. It touches the semi-sweet sadness inside.

IMPRESSIVE IMPRESSION Strong of character, touched by loss, authentic, a survivor. A "real one" for sure! She speaks out for what she believes. One moment she's verbally slamming George W. Bush in concert, then speaking out about the environment and next, walking up and hugging Jesse Jackson at a political rally! She visits her parents, discusses urination with Flea [from Red Hot Chilli Peppers] on the beach, makes grave stone rubbings, has a jam session with Sam Shepard and adores her children. The woman is well-rounded wonderment!

OH SO REAL There is a segment in the film that I believe to be a memorial performance. Patti Smith is reading a song poem of sorts while Philip Glass plays piano. Smith is clearly feeling the loss as she speaks; she is crying to the point of spittle coming from her mouth. It is one of those sad things that is so heartfelt it becomes beautiful. I remember this because it was real. It's refreshing to see an artist that has been around the block such as her and feel that she is genuine. A "real one" for sure.

NOTE: I believe P. Smith has a way with cats.

Posted by:
Joey Jenkins
Apr 3, 2009 2:11pm
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