Thursday, June 10, 2004

caffeine, nicotine and quirky conversation

I was glad to make Coffee and Cigarettes my first Jim Jarmusch film in the cinema hall. And I must also sum up more points for Midtown Art Cinema (formerly UA Midtown and now nestling in the umbrella of Landmark Theatres), which is close to becoming my favourite movie theatre in town. With that little plug out of the way, onward ho to JJ's often brilliant, sometimes so-so, but always interesting series of vignettes featuring famous personalities put together in hilarious (Iggy Pop and Tom Waits), curious (RZA, GZA, and Bill Murray), or experimentally piquant (Cate Blanchett with Cate Blanchett) combinations yakking away on topics ranging from addiction to the beverage and the smoke, to Nikola Tesla, to explorations of human nature. This is your chance to see (a) why Roberto Benigni always seems so wired up, (b) a bout of one-upmanship as Iggy and Waits seem to offer and take offense where there is none, (c) a convincing presentation by Steve Buscemi's waiter of how Elvis was replaced by his twin brother, (d) Cate Blanchett's cousin (played by Blanchett again) being patronized by her fame, (e) a polite Alfred Molina informing a stiff condescending Steve Coogan that they are related. And then there's the little segment with a waiter trying to offer Renee French a fresh serving of coffee, while she flips through catalogues that seem to echo her state of mind with each interruption. This is a nice little grab bag. TRIVIA NOTE: RZA wears a ski cap(?) which reads "Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai", which happens to be the title of the Jim Jarmusch-directed Forest Whitaker film about a black Mafia hit-man who lives by the code of the ancient samurai. SUB-TRIVIA NOTE: RZA was responsible for the original music of that flick, and also had a role in the film.

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