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No Smoking in the Waiting Area (2009)

 -  Short | Comedy | Fantasy
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A slacker lottery winner finds a portal to limbo, and a waiting room filled with dead celebrities.

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Cast

Credited cast:
Gerardine Coyne ...
Alice
Joseph Coyne ...
Elvis
Maria Hodson ...
Sharon Eckhart
...
Gloria Crawford
Damien McEvoy ...
Rupert Waring ...
Auguste Chevalier
Sadiq Williams ...
Love Forty
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Storyline

Alice, a woman who could easily be the love child of Jeff 'The dude' Lebowski, is a slacker who happened to win the lottery. An event that had absolutely no effect on her life whatsoever aside from the fact that she can now afford to be comfortably unemployed and spend even more time doing nothing but hanging out in her apartment all day watching movies and TV, playing video games and occasionally ordering random expensive items she doesn't know what to do with. Returning home after a peculiar Elvis sighting, she stumbles into Limbo and finds herself in a waiting room amongst long dead celebrities, including the 'Real first man to walk on the moon', disgruntled with their lack of fandom in the afterlife, the slow corruption of their once exclusive waiting room by z-list reality TV show stars and longing to somehow escape back into the real world to reclaim their fame. Written by vh

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Being Dead Famous is boring

Genres:

Short | Comedy | Fantasy

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(Black & White and Color)

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Trivia

Elvis is played by the brother of lead actress Gerardine Coyne. See more »

Connections

References The Big Lebowski (1998) See more »

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User Reviews

References galore and some decent bits but mostly just reminds of the better references, while the usual technical limitations are present
24 May 2014 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

There are some films where I think that Tony Ukpo is an ambitious filmmaker who is keen to explore ideas and try things even if they don't work because trying is often just as much part of it as succeeding. And then there are times where I think that is nonsense and actually it would be better if worked through things better before filming them and perhaps got a bit more technical knowhow as well. At the end of this film we have credit references to The Coen Brothers, Jim Jarmusch and several others and I did wonder if Ukpo thought we wouldn't get what he was trying to do so had to literally spell out his reference points.

The plot sees a Dudette who is unemployed and waiting for a delivery in her flat. When she goes to the bathroom one day she stumbles into a black and white waiting room for dead celebrities. In terms of what it does with this narrative, it does have some reasonably okay lines but generally it doesn't do much but want to be smarter than it is. I'm not sure if watching so many great filmmakers as those listed makes one think that it is easy, but 'No Smoking etc' never feels like anything other than a less effective copy of everything it is trying to do. It has moments but generally doesn't work.

Technically the 'look' of the film is off; with some washed out images and generally a look which suggests it was knocked together very quickly – which I guess it was. Yet again I am reminded that I really must stop watching Ukpo's films through headphones because the sound is poor here. The quality is variable, sound effects are too loud for the acts they accompany, voices are all in one side of the stereo and the music is dipped with each word spoken. The performances are okay but there is too much impression here to really let the actors do anything of their own within that frame.

I will continue to watch Ukpo's films because occasionally his drive to make things happen does produce something with good ideas which cover up for some of the weaknesses, however this short is nothing of its own and the only thing that Ukpo seems to bring to his own table here is the usual technical limitations.


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