posted by: audra
maybe not quite a nightmare, but the new-ish steven sebring film dream of life documenting ten years of patti smith’s life isn’t such a dream. i had such, such excruciatingly high hopes for this little gem. i love me some patti, & even after reading some not-so-great reviews i still wanted to believe this would become my new favorite film. it was showing at cinema 21 for like, a day, & i totally dropped the ball & missed it. sigh. the days leading up to the film’s release, i replayed the trailer over & over; goosebumps every time:
doesn’t that look so amazing?! even after watching the film, the trailer still makes me all giddy & squealy.
…but, the film itself is just sort of a mishmash of really beautiful cinematography set to patti yammering in her native poetic tongue. i read someplace — i think in entertainment weekly? — that instead of an intimate biopic about patti & getting to know her, you leave the film knowing less about her than you did before. that’s so true; she comes off completely nuts, which is okay, but i wanted something a little bit more personal, & less babelogue. maybe that’s how she really is, all the time though…? is that what she’s going for; the mysterious ‘i’m-way-more-evolved-than-you’ vibe? whatever. i had the uh-mazing experience of meeting patti in the summer of 2007, her wonky eye & all. bless her. wandering around looking like a homeless woman. i must’ve startled her with all my lip gloss when i spat out that she was my idol; she looked me up & down, but of course greeted me politely. i’ve never been so self-concious of wearing black lace with heels in all my life.
anyway. sebring’s work in dream of life is gorgeous. every scene is like a photograph…it somewhat reminded me of anton corbijn. it’s just the material that’s lacking, like a boring reality show that they neglected to edit the bad parts out of. however, the one thing i did learn, is that patti lives in detroit. really. either i know too much about her already, or it’s really this uninformative. spending ten years on a film, you’d think it would give away something really painfully revealing. oh well. perhaps her inner most secrets that make her so fucking cool are best kept so. i still want to devour each & every bit of her. it doesn’t get any cooler than patti. ever. it just doesn’t.