6.7/10
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44 user 33 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:

Welcome to the planet Brooklyn. 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)

Opening Weekend USA:

$104,365, 15 October 1995

Gross USA:

$1,268,636

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,268,636
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

The scene with Keith David as Jackie Robinson was based on a dream that Miramax chairman Harvey Weinstein had. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Man with Strange Glasses: Yes, I am smoking cigarettes and some of my friends have died of them, but I am not downing a quart of Scotch in fifteen minutes. Looked at that way, cigarettes are actually a health tool!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Situations Created in collaboration with THE ACTORS See more »

Connections

Featured in De zomer draait door: Episode #2.18 (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Haym Afen Range
Performed by Don Byron
Traditional composition arranged by Mickey Katz
Published by Haimish Music (BMI)
Don Byron appears courtesy of Warner Brothers Records Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Joyful meditation about life
24 June 2004 | by Mikew3001See all my reviews

"Blue in the Face" was a fastly produced follow-up of director Wayne Wang's and writer Paul Auster's 1994 art house hit "Smoke". While "Smoke" was produced in the usual way with script, casts, etc., this movie was a quickly shot within less than a month, just containing vague ideas, interviews and improvisations with the same production unit and main actor Harvey Keitel, but without a script and with lots of popular supporting actors who were improvising their performance straight in front of the camera. And it works.

Focused on Keitel's smoke shop in Brooklyn, his customers and visitors are telling stories about their lives, views, ideas, dream, relationships and carreers, all focused around the topic of smoking. Lou Reed can't remember his first cigarette, but presents his self-constructed glasses, Jim Jarmusch celebrates his last cigarette, Harvey Keitel reminds which war movie made him a cigarette smoker, and there are several more famous guests in the shop. Michael J. Fox plays a weird insurance guy, Madonna appears as a singing telegram girl, and John Lurie, Mia Sorvino, Paul Keith and the whole NYC artist's scene appear on the screen.

Although the pointless composition of independent scenes and interviews might become a bit out of tune or boring sometimes, the movie works really well. There are lots of interesting (real life?) stories told by the actors, a great rare groove soundtrack that could fit into every Tarantino production, and some really good jokes too. "Blue in the Face" become a minor art house classic in Europe in the nineties, and one could wonder if this movie would have been the same ten years later in the times of anti-smoking laws and campaigns. Nice independent movie.


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