Benjamin Smoke

This bittersweet documentary captures the passion and perversion of Robert Dickerson, a singer, bullshit artist and part-time drag queen known as Benjamin. In interviews and rehearsals shot in Atlanta, his hometown, Benjamin obsesses over Luke Perry's feet, sings Tom Waits-y songs with his band, Smoke, and slowly loses his battle with AIDS and hepatitis C. Smoke triumphantly score a gig opening for Patti Smith, who delivers the film's emotional climax with a heartfelt tribute to the cracked poet withering before your eyes.

From The Archives Issue 101: February 3, 1972