- Directed by Steven Sebring
Steven Sebring spent over a decade following Patti Smith around with a camera (okay, I’m not sure how much of that time he actually devoted to the project), trying to get to the core of the cutting-edge rocker, poet, and generally arty person. He succeeds–with a great deal of help from Smith herself–in introducing us to a very nice person.
He didn’t make a movie about her music. The live performance sequences concentrate mostly on her poetry, and when she talks to the camera, she’s more likely to discuss Blake than Dylan.
She also talks a lot about death. Her husband and her brother both died young, as did such famed collaborators as Allen Ginsberg and Robert Mapplethorpe. She seems to have handled the tragedies well.
By the end of the movie, most of which is in black and white, we feel as if we kind of know her, and we like her. But aside from an innate need to express herself and her strong political feelings, we know little about what motivates her to do what she does.