Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

12 July 2004

Quick Review

This afternoon I headed down the street to (finally) see Jim Jarmusch's Coffee and Cigarettes.  My cousin, Angela, gave it a good review, so I thought I would check it out.  I've been meaning to since it came out in—what: May (?).

The film is not so much a film as a collection of short films which all revolve around cigarettes and (mostly) coffee.  The good ones are about coffee and cigarettes. 

I have to say that I just didn't care for the film.  The first couple of films are really great.  My personal favorite is the one with Iggy Pop and Tom Waits.  They almost get into an interesting discussion, even, about the 'coffee and cigarettes generation' versus the 'pie and coffee generation.'  There are some other interesting ones: I really liked the Steve Buscemi film and the Bill Murray film.  The Cate Blanchett film is interesting, too, and the final film with William Rice and Taylor Mead is almost transcendent compared to the rest of the picture.  But the problem with the film is that it isn't at all cohesive.  We are continually reminded that this is an extended film exercise.  There is a recurring coffee/cigarettes/checkerboard/black-and-white theme, but there isn't much else that the film itself has to say.  The truth is, if you want to know about coffee and cigarettes as a combination, the film that you need to watch is P.T. Anderson's freshman effort: Hard Eight.