Patti Smith: Dream of Life

Rated NR

Fans of Patti Smith might enjoy this exploration of her psyche, in which the poet/photographer/singer indulges herself in front of a camera and a microphone, listing her high school-level pretentious influences (Rimbaud, Blake, William S. Burroughs, every other dark and artsy thing you’d find under the razor blades on some goth girl’s hand-decorated bookshelf) and reminiscing about how many really, really artistic people she’s watched die in great sadness—but I found it unbearable. The concert footage is entertaining, but Smith is so unselfconscious about how trite her ramblings are, and so convinced of her life’s universal interest, that this winds up being about as much fun as reading the personal journal of a random raccoon-eyed teen pseudo-rebel. I’ve always liked Smith’s music, but if this film is any indication of what it’s like to spend time with her, I’d rather drink a gallon of absinthe infused with a pack of clove cigarettes and the used razor blades of an obsessive-compulsive cutter.—

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