The richly layered portrait of the legendary poet, artist, musician and activist won the Cinematography Award when it received its world premiere at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, where it was also nominated for the Grand Jury Prize. New Yorkers will get an early glimpse of the film, which was produced by Margaret Smilow of Thirteen/WNET and Scott Vogel, when it screens at the Film Forum August 6th - 19th.
PATTI SMITH: DREAM OF LIFE has generated critical acclaim, being hailed as a "spellbinder" (Premiere) and a "joy for anyone interested in pop culture of the past 40 years" (The Hollywood Reporter). "Patti Smith: Dream of Life" gets unusually close to its subject," said Reuters. "Experimental camera work and editing makes for a fittingly unconventional portrait of one of the pioneers of punk music."
Smith emerged in the 1970's, galvanizing the music scene with her unique style of poetic rage, music and trademark swagger. Sebring, renowned for merging raw realism with high fashion in his portraiture, first met Smith, in 1996, when he photographed her for Spin magazine. Upon seeing her perform, he was so moved that he asked if he might begin filming her - thus beginning an 11-year odyssey. PATTI SMITH: DREAM OF LIFE (which takes its title from her 1988 album, Dream of Life) is a plunge into the philosophy and artistry of this complicated, charismatic personality. Sebring captures Smith, who narrates the film, through her spoken words, performances, lyrics, paintings and photographs. The film also features performances with composer Philip Glass and playwright/author/actor/musician Sam Shepard.
Rizzoli will publish Sebring's companion book, Patti Smith: Dream of Life, in August. Integrating quotes and private transcripts with his photographs of Smith, Sebring traces the artist's extraordinary personal journey. The volume also includes never-before-published Polaroid's taken by Smith as well as other photos from her archives.
Smith was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007 and continues to be a vibrant, prolific artist, working in a wide variety of media. Fondation Cartier in Paris is currently hosting a major solo exhibition of her visual work. The Coral Sea, a live CD she recorded with My Bloody Valentine's Kevin Shields, will be released July 11th on PASK, a new imprint founded by Smith and Shields. The double-CD captures their June 22, 2005 and September 12, 2006 performances at London's Queen Elizabeth Hall, a collaboration inspired by Smith's 1996 book of the same name, which paid tribute to her great friend, the late artist Robert Mapplethorpe.