6.7/10
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44 user 32 critic

Blue in the Face (1995)

R | | Comedy | 13 October 1995 (USA)
Brooklyn Cigar Store is a neighborhood hangout in Brooklyn with Auggie Wren/H.Keitel as center. Some people are interviewed about Brooklyn, spiced up with statistics on Brooklyn.

Writers:

Paul Auster (situations), Wayne Wang (situations)

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2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Lou Reed ... Man with Strange Glasses
Michael J. Fox ... Pete Maloney
Roseanne Barr ... Dot (as Roseanne)
Mel Gorham ... Violet
Jim Jarmusch ... Bob
Lily Tomlin ... Waffle Eater
Jared Harris ... Jimmy Rose
Giancarlo Esposito ... Tommy Finelli
Malik Yoba ... Watch Man
José Zúñiga ... Jerry (as Jose Zuniga)
Victor Argo ... Vinnie
Stephen Gevedon ... Dennis
The John Lurie National Orchestra The John Lurie National Orchestra ... Street Band
Madonna ... Singing Telegram
Sharif Rashed Sharif Rashed ... Purse Snatcher
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Storyline

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>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

First there was "Smoke." Now there's fire. Auggie and his friends are back with more out-of-this-world tales. See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and a scene of nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Miramax [United States]

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 October 1995 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Brooklyn Boogie See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$1,275,999
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Miramax, InterAL See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After initial filming wrapped, Paul Auster and Wayne Wang realized that the improvisational concept was not working. The directors requested three more days of additional filming, in which all of the scenes were scripted. The scenes with Keith David and Madonna were scripted. See more »

Goofs

Dot bolts the store door to talk with Auggie, then leaves without unlocking it. See more »

Quotes

Man with Strange Glasses: I don't know anyone in New York who doesn't say 'I'm leaving'. I've been thinking of leaving New York for... uh... thirty-five years now.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Situations Created in collaboration with THE ACTORS See more »

Connections

Follows Smoke (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Lily's Blues
Performed by John Lurie, Calvin Weston, Billy Martin
Written by John Lurie
Published by Lagarto, Inc. (ASCAP)
John Lurie appears courtesy of Luaka Bop/Warner Brothers Records Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
An understated, but brilliant film
14 September 2001 | by maurizio-11See all my reviews

Blue in the face is a follow up to 'Smoke' a film which I saw recently and very much enjoyed. I thought I'd give this one a try as well.

Like the first film (even more so) this is a collection of beautifully acted, largely improvised vignettes, involving the customers and general passers-by of the Brooklyn based cigar shop run by Auggie (Harvey Keitel). There is a lose storyline involving the relationship between Auggie and his girlfriend Violetta (brilliantly played by Mel Gorham) and the troubled marriage of Vinnie the storeowner and his wife. The store has been a part of the local community for years and when Vinnie gets a very good offer to sell up, it's bound to badly affect a lot of people.

The best moments of the film lie in the documentary style rambling of Brooklyn residents (including Lou Reed) as they describe what it means to them being part of the city, and also the brilliant monologues that some of the characters perform. There are moments of genius in this film. It is very funny in a very understated way, the assembled characters are all eccentric in their own way but totally believable. The dialogue is natural and you get to know and feel for the characters very quickly in to the movie.

I loved this film; I thought it was better than 'Smoke' a film I also liked. 'Blue in the Face' might be harder to get in to for some people, it's improvisational style and lack of structured story might put people off or make them think it's hard to follow, but it isn't. Don't try to make too much sense of what's going on you don't need to. Treat it as a series of snapshots in to the lives of a collection of colourful New Yorkers. Just sit back and watch the characters play out their lives, you'll very soon be engrossed by it.

It was an absolute delight to watch. Not for everyone maybe but definitely for me!


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