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COFFEE AND CIGARETTES, 2003
Movie Reviews!

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COFFEE AND CIGARETTES,   MOVIE POSTERCOFFEE AND CIGARETTES, 2003
Movie Reviews

Directed by Jim Jarmusch
Starring: Roberto Benigni, Cate Blanchett, Tom Waits, Iggy Pop, Bill Murray, Steve Buscemi, Jack White, Meg White
Review by Russell Wray


SYNOPSIS:

A series of vignettes that all have coffee and cigarettes in common.

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REVIEW:

It takes the smaller things in life to discuss its bigger questions. Jim Jarmusch presents an interesting film about the joy of drinking coffee and cigarettes but more importantly discussion.

Jarmusch works subtly here to give that extremely naturalistic feel. Jarmusch sticks to a basic triangle system of shooting. With such a bizarre script it would be very easy to fall into the realms of pretentious, however, Jarmuschís basic approach keeps the piece grounded in the world of realism. He obviously wants his words and actorís to be the star of this film.

One of the main downfalls of the film, from a commercial perspective, is its pacing. The film never gained a wider audience because audiences seemed to be put off by the slow conversational style. Jarmusch has never been one to follow commercial recognition but sadly this limits the amount of people that went to see this gem of a film.

Jarmuschís artistic credit is heightened by the lack of colour in the film. This is another deterrent for mainstream audiences to shy away from seeing this film at the cinema. However Jarmusch doesnít want to distract the audience with images of beauty or grotesqueness. He wants to tell a very simple story completely on the fence

Some of the scenes stand out more than others. Tom Waits and Iggy Popís meeting is one of those scenes due to their great amount of charisma which makes this scene electric. Cate Blanchette also turns out an interesting performance playing herself and her estranged sister. This scene is possibly one of the more absurd scenes as well as Jack White demonstrating his apparent love for physics. The last short contains two old men drinking coffee on their work break. This scene definitely shines as it is the only short that contains emotional depth and is quite hard hitting.

This film does not try too hard and in that is its beauty. It is a clever film which proves that American cinema does not need explosions and special effects to make a brilliant film. All it takes is the love of two simple things in life, coffee and cigarettes. Fans of this film should seek out Romance and Cigarettes which was made two years after this which uses more conventional plots and styles of American cinema but to touch on the same topic. Life is about the smaller things.

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