As the extremely withdrawn Don Johnston is dumped by his latest woman, he receives an anonymous letter from a former lover informing him that he has a son who may be looking for him.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.
Two innocent people are arrested. An interesting third person, with broken English, joins them in their cell. On his idea, they decide to escape from the prison. Their journey is the rest of the movie.
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 »
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 »
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 »
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
An odd concept for a film, Coffee and Cigarettes can be seen as either one of two ways. On one hand a dark, clever, ingenious piece of cinema, or on the other hand a dark, clever, ingenious piece of cinema. Jarmusch has succeeded in gathering as diverse a cast as you're ever likely to see, the site of GZA, RZA, and Bill Murray waxing intellectual over smokers cough and herbal medicines is enough to interest even the most fervent sceptic of such work. Even the Cate Blanchett (whom i'm not a huge fan of) scene was so well set up and written (or improvised, who knows) that you find your self unable to turn away, so intent are you on what she has to say next. Alfred Molina and Steve Coogan are so wonderful as over blown versions of themselves, Coogan as a super arrogant celebrity and Molina as a bumbling, sweet, excitable actor. Together they form what would be the best scene of the whole film, that is if it wasn't for Iggy and Tom. Ah Iggy and Tom, such characters, such dialogue, such a beautifully surreal piece. Iggy (or Jim to his friends) is more like an over nervous school boy than an ageing rock star, and Tom is strong as the defensive perfectionist. All in all this film succeeds in what it tries to do, if you like dark surreal comedy then you'll like this. Be warned though it will give you a craving for Coffee and Cigarettes.
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