As it is the start of Lent there are probably millions of you out there who are using the opportunity to quit cigarettes ….. again ! Most of you will fail of course but I thought this would be a great opportunity to point you in the direction of one of the finest pieces of cinema of the 90s.
If you are giving up the fags the second clip is just for you. . .
Here are 2 films set in Brooklyn based around a Tobacco shop run by “Auggie” Wren (– Harvey Kietel)
The first film was called “Smoke” (1995) by Wayne Wang
It co-starred William Hurt
and also Stockard Channing. Forrest Whitacker and Jarred Harris
The plot of this movie, like smoke itself, drifts and swirls ethereally. Characters and subplots are deftly woven into a tapestry of stories and pictures which only slowly emerges to our view. This film tries to convince us that reality doesn’t matter so much as aesthetic satisfaction. In Auggie’s New York smoke shop, day by day passes, seemingly unchanging until he teaches us to notice the little details of life. Paul Benjamin, a disheartened and broken writer, has a brush with death that is pivotal and sets up an unlikely series of events that afford him a novel glimpse into the life on the street which he saw, but did not truly perceive, every day. Finally, it’s Auggie’s turn to spin a tale. Auggie Wren’s Christmas Story
This clip is the opening sequence starting with a shoplifter in Auggie’s shop. You can see how the feel of the movie reveals itself in this clip and it is set to the song “You’re innocent when you dream” by Tom Waits.
This is a beautiful piece of work
The second film is called “Blue in the Face” (1995)
Again it stars Harvey Kietel as Auggie
but also brings to the screen
Again Jared Harris and it also attracted many all star cameo appearances by people like Michael J Fox, Rosanne, Mira Sorvino, Lilly Tomlin and Madonna
Wayne Wang directed again in this follow-up movie to Smoke and presents a series of improvisational situations strung together to form a pastiche of Brooklyn’s diverse ethnicity, offbeat humor, and essential humanity. Many of the same characters inhabiting Auggie Wren’s Brooklyn Cigar Store in Smoke return here to expound on their philosophy of smoking, relationships, baseball, New York, and Belgian Waffles. Most of all, this is a movie about living life, off-the-cuff
This clip is a pastiche of some of the best parts of the movie and exhalts the good and bad of smoking in a typically New York style
I absolutely adored these films when they came out. They are films you could easily have missed as they were not on wide general release. More art house theatres. However I love this style of film making. lots and lots of dialogue and laid back clever humour. Not enough films like this are made
I recommend you see these if you can
And good luck with the cigarettes. you’ll probably want to smoke more after listening to Lou Reed