Wayne Wang's follow-up movie to Smoke (1995) 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 (1995) return here to expound on their philosophy of smoking, relationships, baseball, New York City, 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>
The scene with Giancarlo Esposito, Stephen Gevedon, José Zúñiga, and Malik Yoba took all day to film. The extremely hot temperature, combined with the lack of a script, made it difficult for the actors and actresses to improvise a good scene. After many takes, Harvey Keitel secretly told Peggy Gormley to slap Gevedon in the scene to garner an energetic reaction. That take is used in the film. But the long day took a toll on Director Wayne Wang, who was suffering from bronchitis, so Paul Auster stepped in as director for the next two days. See more »
Dot bolts the store door to talk with Auggie, then leaves without unlocking it. See more »
I don't eat shit. It's against my religion.
What religion is that?
The religion of sanity, Peter. You should try it some time.
I did, but I was excommunicated.
See more »
Situations Created in collaboration with THE ACTORS See more »
Disjointed but really funny look at the community of Brooklyn
Wang's followup to Smoke is a series of improvised scenes put together to represent the diveristy of Brooklyn's culture. Meanwhile Auggie is struggling with Vinnie's decision to sell the cigar store.
The "plot" to this film doesn't really matter. This was shot in the time that was left over when Smoke wrapped earlier than scheduled. In many ways this is a much better film. It's a huge amount of fun to watch and it all ends in a street party - it all makes you want to live in Brooklyn and meet all these weird and wonderful people that live there. It's sketchy nature can mean that it feels a little piecey but most of it is funny or interesting and you may not notice it's lack of structure. The actual story is actually quite good - Vinnie's decision to shut the store is handled as a threat to the friendships that exist around the story and also the importance of such places in holding the community together. It makes a good point and, mixed with the humour, isn't hard to swallow at all.
The cast are good - many of Smoke's faces are still there and are complimented by famous faces. Stars such as Fon, Roseanne, Madonna, Lou Reed, Jim Jarmusch, Lily Tomlin, Ru Paul etc all make cameos - Madonna isn't great but MJ Fox is really funny. The remainder of the cast are made up of real quality actors such as Victor Argo, Harvey Keitel and Giancarlo Esposito to name a few.
Overall this is a light reward for watching the slighly heavier Smoke. Both films are good in their own way but this is the most fun to watch.
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