Franta Louka is a concert cellist in Soviet-occupied Czechoslovakia, a confirmed bachelor and a lady's man. Having lost his place in the state orchestra, he must make ends meet by playing ... See full summary »
It's the 22nd of December. Sixteen years have passed since the revolution, and in a small town Christmas is about to come. Piscoci, an old retired man is preparing for another Christmas ... See full summary »
Thirty years ago, Andrei Simoniovich Filipov, the renowned conductor of the Bolshoi orchestra, was fired for hiring Jewish musicians. Now a mere cleaning man at the Bolshoi, he learns by ... See full summary »
A comic series of short vignettes built on one another to create a cumulative effect, as the characters discuss things as diverse as caffeine popsicles, Paris in the '20s, and the use of nicotine as an insecticide--all the while sitting around sipping coffee and smoking cigarettes. As director Jim Jarmusch delves into the normal pace of our world from an extraordinary angle, he shows just how absorbing the obsessions, joys and addictions of life can be, if truly observed. Written by
Sujit R. Varma
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 »
Well, Nikola Tesla invented fluorescent light. Without him we wouldn't have alternating current, radio, television... x-ray technology... induction motors, particle beams, lasers; none of that would even exist if it weren't for him.
Hmm, or the rock band Tesla.
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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 »
Down on the Street
Written by Iggy Pop (as J. Osterberg) / Ron Asheton (as R. Asheton) / Scott Asheton (as S. Asheton) / David Alexander (as D. Alexander)
Performed by The Stooges
Published by Warner Tamerlane Publishing Corp. (BMI) o/b/o itself and Stooge-Staffel Music/Bug Music (BMI)
Courtesy of Elektra Entertainment Group
By Arrangement with Warner Strategic Marketing See more »
I haven't seen a single Jarmusch before this and have no knowledge or his style whatsoever, nor have I smoked a cigarette while drinking coffee, but I enjoyed this film immensely.
It doesn't purport to speak of grandiose themes and epic emotions, nor does it go out of its way to be deliberately offbeat and quirky; the audience has no emotional attachment to the characters and there is no plot in most of the vignettes. So what puts this film above all the pretentiously shot black-and-white art-house crap that is slugged out every year? For one thing, it is really funny. From its expressionistic colors to the dialog that proudly smacks of absurdist humor, this film is like a breeze of cool air, utterly enjoyable from the first reel to the last that does not cloy on to the heart, but is very unforgettable.
Ultimately, its unobtrusive absurdist humor, which provokes chuckles instead of heartily laughs, serves to prove the Pinter-esquire themes of the futility of communication. We get a sense that the characters are isolated and desperately trying to touch each other through their speech but ultimately failing to do so; and yet, through their manic speech patterns and delirious pauses, what is unsaid speaks more than what is said itself. While this unconventional style of humor is often difficult to pull off as it might fast become monotonous (as evident in a recent stage production of The Caretaker that I saw), Jarmusch's deft direction with his actors (from their gestures to the way they hold their coffee cups) pushes forth the humor and carries it on steadily throughout the entire film.
It is hard to say much about a film who has nothing much to say. As in my favorite segment, 'No Problem', the one with the two French black guys, their dialog only serves to underscore the meaningless and nothingness of communication. What is scary about it is that it is so accurate, that these type of conversations, however ridiculous and absurd when portrayed on screen, often typifies our daily conversations. It depresses me sometimes that human communication can be easily reduced to all these, and this film makes the point entirely clear.
So it definitely comes as a relief, that as a conclusion, the relatively more heart-warming vignette with the two old guys (Champagne) was chosen. Not only does it touches lightly on the recurring 'acoustic resonance' theme, it also hints that we may in fact touch each other, through common music or through a common idea. And it just happens that that common song was 'I have Lost Track of the World' by Gustav Mahler, an amazing piece by an amazing composer that I have just recently began to love, a delightful moment which shows that although we are as disconnected at the different vignettes in the movie, it is comforting to know that we are still united in some weird cosmic way, like this forum here. And like the two old guys, after our coffee and cigarette break in which we step into an odd world that is not really unfamiliar, we would have to step back in to the real world again. But it doesn't hurt to have a little nap in between and pretend bad coffee is champagne.
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