Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Dream of Life

Steven Sebring's Patti Smith: Dream of Life, which opens August 6 at the Film Forum in Manhattan, is a haunting, impressionistic thing, and has been given a nice background write-up by Terrence Rafferty in the New York Times, but this is a film that can't be described with any hint of accuracy - it must be absorbed, felt, and reflected upon to be fully appreciated and understood.

Jeff Wells wrote passionately about it after a Sundance screening back in January, and indeed this is a film that needs to be shouted from the rooftops. It's hands down the best documentary I've seen this year, and quite honestly the best one I've seen in several years. This is searing, soul-piercing work of the most impressive kind - the kind that challenges the bounds of cinema and redefines what it means to be a documentary.

I'll be tapping out my full thoughts for a review closer to its release. But let me just say right now, this is something major.

5 comments:

Sam Juliano said...

Matthew, I saw the trailer to this film on Sunday prior to the screening of the British "BOY A." I agree it looked quite sensual and intriguing. That is quite a statement you make there about it ranking with the best docs of the year (or in many years) especially with the pre-eminence this year of MAN ON WIRE and UP THE YANGTZE, but I respect your sentiments and plan on seeing it when it opens.

nick plowman said...

Can't wait buddy!!!

Matthew Lucas said...

Sam, I haven't seen MAN ON WIRE yet so I can't speak for that one, but I would rank PATTI SMITH higher than UP THE YANGTZE. As of right now, PATTI SMITH is my #2 film of the year, right behind 4 MONTHS, 3 WEEKS, AND 2 DAYS. It's incredible.

Sam Juliano said...

Matthew, I had 4 MONTHS on my list last year, and I know Alexander and others are torn as to what to consider it. I completely agree with you that it is the best film of 2008---if we consider it this year---but I opted for last. I admit it is a very difficult decision.
In any case if you are saying that PATTI SMITH ranks above UP THE YANGTZE,(and is #2 of teh year) then that is really saying something. I am eager to see it!

Matthew Lucas said...

I used to look to the Academy for guidance on what year to classify a film in, but not anymore. I generally use the official release date to guide me, and for 4 MONTHS the official US release date was 1/25/08.

I hope I'm not overhyping PATTI SMITH, but I really do feel very strongly about it. I just can't get it out of my head. Amazing stuff.