7.5/10
206
5 user 8 critic

Benjamin Smoke (2000)

This highly unorthodox documentary follows the crooked path of Benjamin (no last name). He lives in a hidden neighborhood of Atlanta, Georgia called "Cabbagetown." Drag-queen, speed-freak, ... See full summary »

Directors:

Jem Cohen, Peter Sillen
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Benjamin Dickerson Benjamin Dickerson ... Himself (as Benjamin)
Tim Campion Tim Campion ... Smoke Perkussion
Brian Halloran Brian Halloran ... Smoke Cello
Coleman Lewis Coleman Lewis ... Smoke Guitar
Bill Taft Bill Taft ... Smoke Trumpet / Banjo
Patti Smith ... Herself
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Deacon Lunchbox Deacon Lunchbox ... Himself (archive footage)
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Storyline

This highly unorthodox documentary follows the crooked path of Benjamin (no last name). He lives in a hidden neighborhood of Atlanta, Georgia called "Cabbagetown." Drag-queen, speed-freak, all-around renegade, Benjamin left the straight (in every sense of the word) world behind a long time ago.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

What is the sound of the queer southern blues?

Genres:

Documentary

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 June 2000 (USA) See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,183, 23 July 2000, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$36,807, 7 January 2001
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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User Reviews

Cabbagetown's Unsung Local Boy Hero
18 June 2001 | by SchlockmeisterSee all my reviews

Interesting portrait of an Atlanta musician/drag queen/poet/life live-er. If you have lived in Atlanta and are aware of the local music scene, several familiar names will arise. Several of the musicians are still performing, unfortunately the subject of this documentary is not. Great look at Cabbagetown pre-yuppiefied ambiance when it really was a true seedy white trash neighborhood filled with hard people on go-carts. It was the only sort of neighborhood that could have birthed this sort of artist. I am not sure how long the cameras followed Benjamin around, it looks like it may have been a couple of years as we see him at home in Cabbagetown, then on to assisted living in an apartment. Great concert footage, including one of the high points in Smoke's career, a chance to open for Patti Smith at Atlanta's Variety Playhouse. To see Benjamin backstage, you have to wonder how much of the experience he was truly aware of. It's the kind of documentary that gets you under the skin of an eccentric person, I would also recommend "The Cruise", a portrait of New York Tour bus director Timothy "Speed" Levitch, if you enjoy this sort of thing. Great ending to this film. Patti reads a poem she wrote for Benjamin, a man who discovered her LP "Horses" while he was living out in the country, it changed his life. That Patti was even aware of him or his music and could quote lines from his songs filled Benjamin with amazement. You don't have to be from Atlanta to enjoy this. It is worth seeking out and settling in with. Recommended!


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