There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
The impressionistic rock-doc Benjamin Smoke may look a bit like Instrument, the 1999 documentary about Fugazi. That’s only reasonable, because it, like Instrument, was co-directed (with Peter Sillen) by Jem Cohen. I’m sorry to report, however, the subject of the newer film is no Fugazi. Atlanta cult-rocker Benjamin Smoke (real name: Robert Dickerson) was a colorful and not remotely upright figure who died last year of liver failure related to AIDS and hepatitis. The movie sketches the musician’s life but is more interested in preserving his little-heard music (doomy folk-rock, apparently) and lingering aura. Benjamin Smoke was the sort of beautiful loser whose poetically ravaged life might well beand, in the film, ismemorialized by Patti Smith. See it tonight or tomorrow night at 8 p.m. at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden’s Ring Auditorium, 7th and Independence Avenue SW. Free. (202) 357-2700. (MJ)