Wayne Wang's follow-up movie to Smoke presents a series of improvisational situations strung together to form a pastiche of Brooklyn's diverse ethnicity, offbeat humor, and essential ... See full summary »
In 1927, in Kingdom County, Vermont, a large dam is to be built; however, Noel Lord, a logger and cedar-oil harvester, won't give up his lifetime lease on land that will be flooded. The dam... See full summary »
Cosmo, an affectless mob bookie who lives in the basement of a retirement home, is promoted to hitman. He learns his new trade from Steve, a seasoned killer. He falls in love with a yoga ... See full summary »
Internationally acclaimed novelist Paul Auster ("New York Trilogy", "The Book of Illusions", "Man in the Dark") explores the art of writing in the darkly comical THE INNER LIFE OF MARTIN ... See full summary »
Doug is a young man who works all day as a concierge at a luxurious hotel, saving money to make his own business. Unfortunately, when he finds the financial supporter he needs, he discovers... See full summary »
Michael J. Fox,
Uncle Joe is ageing. He's also a millionaire. That's why his family is trying so very hard to get into his good books. They all want a piece of his empire. Unfortunately Uncle Joe isn't as ... See full summary »
This musical is based on four short stories by Damon Runyon. In one tale, gambler Feet Samuels sells his body to science just as he realizes that Hortense loves him and that he would rather... See full summary »
Wayne Wang's follow-up movie to Smoke presents a series of improvisational situations strung together to form a pastiche of Brooklyn's diverse ethnicity, offbeat humor, and essential humanity. Many of the same characters inhabiting Auggie Wren's Brooklyn Cigar Store in Smoke return here to expound on their philosophy of smoking, relationships, baseball, New York, and Belgian Waffles. Most of all, this is a movie about living life, off-the-cuff. Written by
Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>
"Blue in the Face" was a fastly produced follow-up of director Wayne Wang's and writer Paul Auster's 1994 art house hit "Smoke". While "Smoke" was produced in the usual way with script, casts, etc., this movie was a quickly shot within less than a month, just containing vague ideas, interviews and improvisations with the same production unit and main actor Harvey Keitel, but without a script and with lots of popular supporting actors who were improvising their performance straight in front of the camera. And it works.
Focused on Keitel's smoke shop in Brooklyn, his customers and visitors are telling stories about their lives, views, ideas, dream, relationships and carreers, all focused around the topic of smoking. Lou Reed can't remember his first cigarette, but presents his self-constructed glasses, Jim Jarmusch celebrates his last cigarette, Harvey Keitel reminds which war movie made him a cigarette smoker, and there are several more famous guests in the shop. Michael J. Fox plays a weird insurance guy, Madonna appears as a singing telegram girl, and John Lurie, Mia Sorvino, Paul Keith and the whole NYC artist's scene appear on the screen.
Although the pointless composition of independent scenes and interviews might become a bit out of tune or boring sometimes, the movie works really well. There are lots of interesting (real life?) stories told by the actors, a great rare groove soundtrack that could fit into every Tarantino production, and some really good jokes too. "Blue in the Face" become a minor art house classic in Europe in the nineties, and one could wonder if this movie would have been the same ten years later in the times of anti-smoking laws and campaigns. Nice independent movie.
6 of 8 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?