Patti Smith: Dream of Life

CJSF Contributor

Like probably many people, I began to know Patti Smith by the songs off her 1978 album, Easter. Not being from my generation, I’ve only known her work for a couple of years, but she’s had a cult like following for a lot longer then that. Her name is always mentioned with a mysterious, implicit humbleness. 

I was ready to learn why. Being honest, I didn’t know much more about her music other then the song “Rock N Roll Nigger”, and from the song intro, that she is an American artist. Anything this controversial asks for an explanation. 

“Patti Smith: Dream of Life” premiered at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, with the words, “I was just gonna say, even if it seems five minutes too long, remember it took eleven years to do.” Spoken by Patti, alongside director Steven Sebring, the grandmother of punk seemed aware that a documentary about herself will unveil her reclusive nature.

If you expect a rock and roll documentary, prepare to be surprised. Without spoilers the movie continues as a pretty artsy depiction of cherished objects and memories, including a guitar tuned by Bob Dylan himself. Overall, the film targets loyal fans, who know her life fairly intimately, going in, especially the last eleven years. Although I learned her personality, I was a bit disappointed by the focus, and wished it was more directed towards the peak of her career in the 1970’s, of which my knowledge still remains scattered. If you are a true fan of Patti Smith, and are into films, rather then movies, go see it.


  • Posted on: 11 March 2016
  • By: Administrator