Friday, September 12, 2008

Patti Smith's Dream of Life and live

New York's Film Forum just finished a run of the Patti Smith documentary Dream of Life where director Steven Sebring followed Smith around for about 10 years, documentary her tours, personal life and influence (hopefully out on DVD soon). For the final evening (September 11th), Smith herself appeared at three screenings to answer questions. She also came equipped with a guitar to 'do a little number.' My friend Aaron Goldberg recorded about 3/4 of her song "Grateful" that you'll see in the video above.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

London Premiere of 'Dream of Life" on 3rd October at 21:30 as a part of 16th Raindance Film Festival!

Patti Smith Dream of Life - Cineworld Shaftesbury Avenue, 13 Coventry Street, W1
21:30 on Friday 3rd October.

Arguably punk rock’s poet laureate, Patti Smith occupies a curious position within the rock world. Having influenced generations of future icons, from The Smiths and REM to PJ Harvey, she retains something wholly unique within modern rock. This is exemplified by the hypnotic beat-style spoken word fused with three chord riffs of her early albums through to her brave and unconventional cover versions of the likes of Nirvana and Prince in her later works.

Steven Sebring’s documentary, narrated by Smith herself, was shot over a period of ten years on a mixture of colour and black and white 16mm stock, capturing the artist perfectly in an archive-like manner. Each frame resembles a meticulously planned still photograph, even in it’s verité moments. One of Smith’s powers as an artist is to draw you into her thoughts and views, to the extent where you hang onto every word communicated through her iconic and hypnotic voice. Sebring uses this to his own advantage, compiling clips and still images that reinforce the enigmatic presence shown in her music. That’s not to say however that his portrayal is fantastical; at one point Smith is shown struggling in good humour with simple guitar rhythms, which comes across as a comfortingly human.

Utilising years’ worth of live footage and interview clips, some dating back before the release of the seminal Horses, the film is essential for anyone with even a passing interest in this striking performer.

6:24 AM  

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