As the extremely withdrawn Don Johnston is dumped by his latest woman, he receives an anonymous letter from a former lover informing him that he has a son who may be looking for him. A freelance sleuth neighbor moves Don to embark on a cross-country search for his old flames in search of answers.
A self-styled New York hipster is paid a surprise visit by his younger cousin from Budapest. From initial hostility and indifference a small degree of affection grows between the two. Along... See full summary »
In a vignette called "Strange to meet you," Roberto sits at a small table in a coffee bar. Five cups of coffee and two ashtrays are in front of him; he drinks and smokes. Steven joins him. ... See full summary »
This shortcut repeats the structure of Coffee and Cigarettes. This time, Iggy Pop and Tom Waits meet in a bar. But, again, we don't know why they agreed to do that in the first place, ... See full summary »
A brother and sister, sitting in a coffee bar, bicker mildly about whose idea it was to come to Memphis and which kind of cigarette is fresher. Danny, their waiter, comes by offering ... See full summary »
Eleven separate vignettes are presented. In each, celebrities, playing semi-fictionalized versions of themselves (with the exception of the characters of various wait staff, and one actor playing a lookalike cousin of herself), meet in a food service establishment with coffee/tea and cigarettes involved. Beyond the topic of discussion that brought them together, they often talk directly about coffee and cigarettes, more often that coffee and cigarettes, and by association caffeine and nicotine, are not healthy, especially if they are the only things constituting lunch. Other recurring themes include the Lee family, cousinhood, celebrity worship, the connection between the medical and musical careers, and Nikola Tesla's belief that the Earth is a conductor of acoustic resonance. In all cases, the coming together for coffee/tea and smokes acts as a bridge to overcome disagreements, and/or makes uncomfortable situations less uncomfortable. Written by
Because they are very health-conscious, RZA and The GZA (credited as GZA) do not drink coffee. So they are drinking tea in the film. See more »
In the "Twins" segment with Joie Lee and Cinqué Lee, along with Steve Buscemi, Joie paraphrases a quote commonly attributed to Elvis Presley, "The only thing a nigger can do for me is buy my records and shine my shoes." Despite popular belief, Elvis himself, along with several of his friends and family members, has vehemently denied that he ever said this. See more »
Doc, what could I do for this cough?
Shit, I was just thinking about that. Check this out: you get some hydrogen peroxide...
We got that for cuts and stuff.
...take fifty percent hydrogen peroxide, fifty percent water. You gargle with it. Do *not* swallow. You spit it out. Don't swallow, Bill Murray.
And if that doesn't work, try oven cleaner.
We got that in the back, too.
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The credits end with a list of the historical, scientific, musical, and cinema-related figures that are mentioned or referenced throughout the film: "RESPECT TO: Nikola Tesla, Otis Blackwell, Junior Parker, Elvis Presley, Jesse Garon Presley, Lee Marvin, Henry Silva, Giant Robo, Heckle & Jeckle, Abbott & Costello, Vivienne Westwood, Spike Jonze, Spike Lee, Sam Mendes, PT Anderson, Michael Winterbottom, Harold Ramis, Gary Goldberg, Ghostface Killa, Old Dirty Bastard and the rock band Tesla...in a way..." After this list it closes with the memorial: "LONG LIVE JOE STRUMMER!" See more »
Short films with nonsense dialogue of shifting dignity. Lots of self irony or even self sarcasm. Tom Waits is mocking with Iggy Pop in a way that it's hard to believe they ever can talk to each other again. Bill Murray is pulling the leg of the hip hop movement and the movement finds that funny. Cate Blanchett is on a genial level playing the double part of the filmstar and her jealous cousin.
Jim Jarmusch can't be beaten. The dialogue seems to be mostly improvised, but the concept is not. Every short chapter here has a meaning and gives us something to think about. The films are in black and white, like coffee and cigarettes and that still is, and will always be, a way of pushing things harder. This is very much comedy and very much serious.
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