Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Patti Smith Dream Of Life|
Actor: Patti Smith
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Documentary
Eleven years in the making, Patti Smith: Dream of Life is a unique and intimate portrait of the renowned singer, songwriter, poet and activist. Patti Smith s music, poetry, and politics are fearless, funny, raw, and origi... more »
Film Is Artistic Collage of Artist's Life
Karen S. Hansen | St. Louis,MO | 02/05/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Patti Smith Dream Of Life
Steven Sebring's documentary film about the "Godmother of Punk," artist, poet, political activist, widow, and mother Patti Smith, is an artfully rendered collage of her life. It took 11 years to film. Often I felt as if she was speaking directly to me, as she offered up items and places and people and memories that were central to her life. As a fan of 30 years, I felt privileged to receive this generous colllaborative portrait of Patti Smith's private life. Sebring's cinematography was unusually beautiful and innovative. During some segments which were spoken, the volume was normal, or even a bit enhanced. Some parts were filmed very effectively with no sound whatsoever, most notably one scene that showed her onstage in Japan before a large crowd of very young fans- only Patti singing, gesticulating with her arms outstretched; fans jumping, waving, cheering- all in slow motion and bathed in red light. When the song ends, we see her slowly bring her hands up to cover her face, and she turns away, leaving her audience ecstatic. This was the closest I've ever seen a film clip come to portraying her shamanic onstage presence. As she brings us to meet her parents, we discover their remaining closeness, and that mom and dad have attended her shows for many years (until her dad went deaf in one ear, and she had to begin playing private acoustic shows just for him). I won't give any more of the film away, except to note that her reading of a poem she wrote after visiting Tibet was incredibly moving, and even brought the "Godmother of Punk" to tears."
A work of love
Gaylen Halbert | Weimar, California United States | 02/25/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Steven Sebring has crafted a wonderful film that can be appreciated by Patti fans and anyone who can recognize a documentary that was done with great respect and affection for its subject. Don't expect a lot of concert footage. There are however numerous, albeit brief, musical snippets that enhance the story. This is a DVD I will never part with."
A treasure trove of images, sounds and details from the firs
jab | ca | 03/22/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've been a fan of Patti Smith since I was 15 and after seeing her twice in concert, I jumped at seeing this film but had to wait until It was released on dvd. Three months later I find myself still watching it, looking for things I didn't notice before. This woman is the real thing, her early days at NYC's CBGB's, the retirement with Fred Sonic Smith, her children, the loss of family friends and her resurgence in 1996 with Gone Again.
This film was insightful to both Patti Smith fans and also managed to recruit new ones as well. I love when she's on the couch with her parents and her mother requests songs. The deleted scenes are gems and the interview with Jackson Smith, son and heir to the legacies of both Patti as well as the late Fred Sonic Smith. Jackson not only sounds like his mother but his face bares a nod to his father as well. The same can be said for Jesse. It's classic to see her playing piano with the keys pounding out her mother's 1975 classic birdland.
Watch it, you'll enjoy every bit of this film."
Katherine McCarthy | Forest Hills, NY United States | 09/18/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I love Patti Smith - in all her mediums - and have followed her career from the very early '70's when I saw a TV special on WOR in New York City one Sunday night. She was describing the graffiti on subway cars (rampant at the time) like a new age Jackson Pollack. I was in High School, struggling to be a writer. I was captivated. I immediately sought out her poetry. She wasn't in rock band. She was writing about rock in Creem magazine, and doing animated poetry readings like Rock 'n' Rimbaud at a former Welfare Hotel, the Diplomat, with the earliest drag queen performance artists. I followed her as she started to do poetry readings with Lenny Kaye strumming on guitar, then to Max's with the addition of Richard Sohl.
I didn't get around to seeing this film at the Film Forum. My schedule was crazy. I knew in advance I would buy it on DVD. I'm glad I saw it by myself, at home, in control of my environment. It's a dreamscape, and aptly named. Don't bother watching if you don't have the time or the attention span. This is detail work. Patti's life and commentary is like a tapestry, weaving in and out of remembrances. Tread by thread. Thought by thought.
Patti is a lovable raconteur. In the early days, she would often stop her shows to tell a bad joke. Like a kid. Then proceed to sing as if possessed. She still does. The film takes its time to weave in her remembrances - the beloved husband and father taken too soon; her parents, working class, and loving, with their aged dog; her ambition to get out of Jersey and into New York; art - in all forms - to embrace the word, the vision, the textures of paint, photography, song, three chord rock & roll. When the film breaks away from the reverie with glimpses of shamanistic performance it's jarring but riveting.
Kudos, not only to the director,Stephen Sebring, filming over 11 years is worthy of an "Atta boy!" and probably hazard pay. Access to Patti throughout the years, and obvious trust instilled, elevates this film from documentary to art. Bravo! to co-producer Margaret Smilow, who spun all that footage into this beautiful, grainy, ethereal, imperfect montage. It sucks you in and keeps you, if you're willing to let it, and have the time to devote.
I don't know if people who have heard about Patti Smith but don't really know her work would love this film as much as I did. But to me it's the essence of who she is, and how she sees this mortal coil. It's a wonder to see her children's growth, from baby pictures with Fred, to finding a bathroom for little Jesse, to the man and woman they are today. At one point, when I saw the adult Jackson Smith, I sat upright in my chair and said to myself, "God he looks just like his father!" Fred would be proud.
To see her beautiful daughter riding in a Central Park carriage while her mom talked about "She Walked Home" written about Jackie Kennedy coming to grips with dying, with her departed husband singing the song in the background, the song Patti wrote but won't sing because Fred made it his own. I cried.
Patti, Fred, Jackson, Jesse. Lenny & the band. Her mom and dad. I gave Patti a letter at a book signing. Her mom took the time to write back, and send an autographed, early 45 rpm record jacket. I was awestruck she took the time to respond and send such a lovely keepsake. In a weird way, after nearly 40 years, Patti's family. And this is a home movie."