Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Coffee And Cigarettes


I know, coffee and cigarettes are a perfect couple but I am gonna talk about a movie. Last weekend finally I got a chance to see “Coffee And Cigarettes”. This long term movie project by independent film’s indispensable director Jim Jarmusch is a small, minimalist master piece. He shot in different times (since 1986) total 11 short films with his fellow artists, musicians and friends. The unimportant, non significant—but necessary—moments that everyone experiences in ordinary and meaningless flow of daily life are presented in this series of vignettes that all have coffee and cigarettes in common. According to me, coffee and cigarettes are not only an important company for these moments but are also a metaphor for the meaning of life; living the moment and feeling the enjoyment of those moments. Especially the last part of the movie (Champagne) is quite important to see this.

The movie is full with small details, I wonder how he was able to put all these details in such a short segments. But he is Jim Jarmusch, so... This is a kind of movie that gives you some sort of life lesson through these ordinary, daily talks. Also, all movie is shot in black and white. This is visually so beautiful and also shows somehow the ordinariness of daily life.

One interesting point in the movie is that, most of these famous characters in these short films are playing themselves. That makes the movie even more friendly and warm, exactly kind of feeling that you would have when you talk with your friends while you drink your coffee and smoke your cigarette in an intimate ambience. These are the 11 parts and actors in the movie:
  1. Strange To Meet You: Roberto Benigni - Steven Wright
  2. Twins: Cinque lee - Joie lee – Steve Buscemi
  3. Somewhere In California: Tom Waits - Iggy Pop
  4. Renee: Renee French - E.J. Rodriguez
  5. Those Things'll Kill Ya: Joe Rigano - Vinny Vella
  6. No Problem: Isaach De Bankole - Alex Descas
  7. Jack Shows Meg His Tesla Coil: Jack White - Meg White
  8. Cousins: Cate Blanchett (she plays a double role here!)
  9. Delirium: RZA - GZA - Bill Murray
  10. Cousins?: Alfred Molina - Steve Coogan
  11. Champagne: Taylor Mead - Bill Rice
Unfortunately not all these parts are equally strong but especially Cousins?, with over the top acting by Alfred Molina and Steve Coogan, becomes the most significant part of the movie. You can really feel friendship, hypocrisy and self-interest in such a strong way in this part, it’s just marvellous.

What I liked most is also the importance of music and sound in the movie. Besides famous musicians are playing a role in the film (Iggy Pop, Tom Waits, Wu-Tang Clan members RZA and GZA, Jack and Meg from Whitestripes), music takes part as a healing medium and something that full fills the life. This, as a sub thema, strongly exist during the film (especially in the parts Somewhere In California and Delirium there was a significant point with music and health themas, that was my association anyway. Also mentioning Nicola Tesla’s theories about world being an acoustical conductor was quite interesting. Or I am just making things up, flying over the clouds with my comments now, that’s also possible!...)

But the main thema of the movie shows itself in the last part Champagne. This final story which two old men making fantasies and talking about life in their 10 minutes break that feels like it’ll last forever, has a distinct Waiting For Godot feel with Mahler’s "Ich Bin der Welt Abhanden Gekommen" (I Have Lost Track of the World) on the background (of course a composer like Mahler, who incorporated into some of his symphonies texts expressing Nietzsche's and Goethe's philosophy is a perfect choice).. This part, shot in a dark room, with a strange existential sadness, proves somehow that the meaning of life is hidden in small details. And then the oldest guy tries to take his “last” nap and closes his eyes—I felt that he has quietly passed away actually—and then the movie ends. Very poetic, very beautiful.

Don’t miss this movie!...

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2 Noises:

At Wednesday, November 02, 2005 5:59:00 PM, Anonymous :) said...

quite a long, but incisive critique. (I think so, because I`ve seen the movie.) you should write some (maybe shorter? sorry for laziness ...) filmcritics more often ....

At Wednesday, November 02, 2005 6:08:00 PM, Blogger . nothing . said...

Thanks. I'll write more critics about movies, I have a waiting list on my collection--hah hah--, just the question of time:-)

But I can't promise about the lenght unfortunately, I like to write (depends on the movie actually).

Visit more often and give more comments:-)


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