Dream of Life

When you see staggering beauty for the first time, it infects you. Whether it be a person, a book, a painting, a set of words or a film. You leave the site of the encounter and go to the bar, or the coffee shop, or to the phone, and spew affection-drenched ramblings all over anyone who will take them in.

You take yourself home and spend hours rewinding and playing the images over and over in your head; stuffing yourself with more information from the pages of the internets. And when that beaming moment comes when it is available for another viewing (or for purchase) you usually take every moment you can to caress it; or buy it, and devour it a kazillion times ove in the privacy of your humble abode.

In this particular case, I am talking about the staggering beauty of a film. A documentary, to be specific. A work of such skin-scratching, inspiring, grab-your-heart- beauty it bruised me for good....but left me wanting more. I am talking about Dream of Life. Patti Smith"(Rizzoli, $50).

Realizing a lot of people had still not recovered from their initial deflowering by this film, but needed a new way to penetrate the layers of it (and maybe feeling this same), filmmaker Steven Sebring has put out Dream of Life: a pensive book of stills, illustrations, musings and photos based on his ethereal documentary about the equally ethereal, illustrious, muse, Patti Smith.

He wanted to bring a more accessible, tangible first to the lovers of this moving piece of film magic. A new way to experience the love and admiration beaming through each piece.

Being that you have more control over this experience; and being without the succession of film in motion, you have time to linger on the images longer. Study them. Touch them. Examine the nuances. Figure out the context of ephemera, and imagine what happened before and what came next. You may even inspect moments that were harder to tune into with the noise of a film. Plus, who doesn't like pictures?! And moving ones at that.

I recommend watching the documentary, if you have not already; but, I imagine this much quieter, more introspective way to investigate the sparkly stalagmites of Smith's enigmatic, inner-world will be just as divine.