Dream Of Life is a stark and haunting portrait of Rock N Roll singer, poet and artist Patti Smith released in 2008. Part historical document and part multimedia art project filmed by Steven Sebring but populated by Smiths talents and works. The film begins with a rapid overview of the subjects life narrated by Smith herself in her own words. The whole film is in fact narrated by Smith and includes a mixture of mundane, touching and bizarre moments. The narration is an absolute pleasure as I have always found Smith’s voice hypnotic, and her words are particularly wise and elegant in this film. Filmed over the span of 11 years, you’ll catch glimpses of Smith’s friends, family, and the legions of her adoring fans. Patti Smith is a bit of a super fan, in the film you get the pleasure of hearing about many of Smith’s favorites including William Burroughs, Rimbaud, William Blake, Bob Dylan, and Walt Whitman. The film is a little short on coverage of the CBGBs years and focuses more on Patti’s early upbringing, later family life, and the people that she has lost over the years (including her brother, good friend - Photographer Robert Mapplethorp, and her husband Fred “Sonic” Smith of the MC5). Overall the film can be slow and abstract at times but the space and oddities make it fit and gives it relevance in Smith’s body of work. Her main strength has always been her words and I found it particularly easy to hang on each and every one.
Posted originally: 2009-04-30 22:54:14