Now here is a movie that's practically perfect for DVD. Shot over many years with eccentric actors, Jim Jarmusch's collection of black-and-white vignettes is as uneven as a collection of music videos (without songs). Even with the dull spots and the drop-dead-hip ambiance, there's something touching about this parade of frazzled people holding on to their coffee and cigarettes like life rafts--especially in the final sequence with Taylor Mead. There are some severely misconceived pieces, but the best are a treat: Alfred Molina and Steve Coogan in a hilarious Hollywood encounter, Tom Waits and Iggy Pop getting off on the wrong foot in a funky diner, and Cate Blanchett doing a dual role as herself and a jealous cousin. Bill Murray can't save one underwritten piece, but Jack and Meg White are amusing in an absurdist blackout. Use the Scene Selection menu, and revel in the fetishizing of java and butts. --Robert Horton
The Sublime Pleasure of Mixing Coffee, Cigarettes, and Conversation. "Cigarettes and coffee, man. That's the combination."--Iggy Pop
This film is better than many reviewers claim. It is a film that will appeal to anyone who has ever experienced the aesthetic pleasure of having a conversation (no matter how inane) over coffee and cigarettes, or to anyone who has ever encountered the social awkwardness of enjoying a smoke amidst the anti-smoking hysteria and worldwide public smoking bans. In 2004 Jim Jarmusch (Stranger Than Paradise; Down by Law) released Coffee and Cigarettes, a collection of short vignettes, several of which had originally aired on Saturday Night Live in the late 80s and early 90s. Shot in black and white, the eleven short vignettes are linked thematically by characters drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes. While some segments are stonger and wittier than others (Cousins, Somewhere in California, Delirium), and while many of the conversations are inane (much like life itself), the cumulative point of Jarmusch's film always remains clear: having a conversation over coffee and cigarettes is one of the most pleasurable experiences in life. When combined, caffeine and nicotine have the power to reveal the sublime humanity in the dreariness of human existence, a point the anti-smoking movement will never understand.
The eleven segments of Coffee and Cigarettes include:
1. Strange to Meet You, which features Roberto Benigni and Steven Wright;
2. Twins, which stars Joie Lee and Cinqu¨¦ Lee as twins, and Steve Buscemi as a waiter who explains his theory of Elvis Presley's evil twin;
3. Somewhere in California, which features musicians Iggy Pop and Tom Waits, who having quit smoking, believe they are allowed just one more cigarette ("The beauty of quitting is, now that I've quit, I can have one, 'cause I've quit");
4. Those Things'll Kill Ya, which features Joseph Rigano and Vinny Vella, who discuss the health dangers of smoking;
5. Ren¨¦e, which stars Ren¨¦e French drinking coffee while reading a gun magazine;
6. No Problem, which features Alex Descas and Isaach De Bankol¨¦ as friends who meet and talk over some coffee and cigarettes;
7. Cousins, which stars Cate Blanchett plays both herself and her cousin Shelly, who meet for coffee in a hotel;
8. Jack Shows Meg His Tesla Coil, which features Jack and Meg White of The White Stripes having coffee and cigarettes;
9. Cousins stars British actors Alfred Molina and Steve Coogan, who discuss their careers over tea;
10. Delirium, which features GZA and RZA of the Wu-Tang Clan, who drink caffeine-free herbal tea ("Crisp and clean, no caffeine") as their waiter, played by Bill "Groundhog-Day, Ghostbustin'-ass" Murray, who drinks coffee straight from the pot and suffers from a smoker's hack; and
11. Champagne, which stars William Rice and Taylor Mead who converse during a coffee break.
An Off-beat, Hilariously Dry Study of Human Interaction If you can only laugh at slap-stick comedic films, you will not like this very much. If you enjoy dry comedic films where the jokes come from the characters' personalities, facial features, and witty dialogues, then you will enjoy most, if not all, the sketches of this film. The comedy comes from what I mentioned before, but it's a better experience watching this movie if you know almost every actor involved. Don't get me wrong, even if you didn't know any actor in the sketches, you would still find this enjoyable due to the excellent interactions between the characters.
As the title I gave for this review suggests, this film is a simple observation of how incredibly hilarious ordinary conversation can be. Irony and awkwardness are prominent themes throughout each of the sketches, and you will want to find out how exactly each conversation ends. None of the sketches run too long because even the few minutes where the characters' are seemingly staring into space trying to figure out what to talk to each other about is completely essential to establish the realism of the situation.
If you find ordinary conversation amusing especially when the talkers are so involved in the conversation, then you will enjoy the sketches in this film. There are no explosions, nudity, scary moments, or even color, just great writing and characterization....more info
Different from the Usual This film consists of several short segments, consisting of two main characters sitting at a table, drinking coffee (tea, in two segments) and most of them smoking cigarettes. There are few connections between the conversations from one segment to the others, aside from pointing-out that cigarettes and coffee aren't a good lunch, a couple of mentions of inventor Nicolas Tesla and coffee popsicles.
I will admit that this film isn't for everyone and also that I had a hard time writing this review. But, this film is entertaining for people willing to have an open mind about films that go outside the form most movies take. There are some very funny parts in "Coffee and Cigarettes" which had me laughing out loud and other parts where I could feel the discomfort of one character in their segment where the conversation seemed to touch a raw nerve in their companion or themselves. That uncomfortable moment occurs in many real life conversations where we don't know what to say next, if anything, to avoid hurting the other person's feelings.
This film has no definite beginning or ending and there is little in each segment to connect it with the others beyond the coffee (or tea) and cigarettes they are consuming.
Nevertheless, I liked the film and I recommend it to people who like to watch films that go outside the norm....more info
Go. Make art. Seeing that it got quite a few 1 star ratings, I decided it needed more credit. The artists here are just excercising their creative urges to go beyond conventional mainstream film making and are having fun doing it. Who has a problem with that? The film follows in the tradition of Warhol's underground films where the movie maker simply puts a camera in front of a couple of actors and says, "Go. Make art" and the great actors start to improv. It's a great risk because it's either hit or miss. And of course in movie making we see mostly the hits thanks to editing. Of course it is a little tighter wound with more grace than the underground Warhol films (sorry Andy!). The film is about everyday normal conversations and situations involving cafes, coffee shops, at work, etc. where there is usually two people talking over a cup of java and smoking some cigs. Some conversations are small talk and shallow, while some other ones are existentialist and profound. It deals with the human condition and relationships and how that can be altered by the two drugs caffiene and nicotine. This film is risk taking at it's best. They went for broke. That's art. I think some viewers of the film thought, "Well, I could do that!" Well, they didn't, so they need to stop whining, get an artistic license, get on the ball, and get a life. Bravo for all the creative people of this film. Encore!...more info
Weird, But Worth It Each vignette is basically the same: two people seemingly miscommunicating and casting oddly ominous glances at one or the other. I did enjoy the soundtrack, though, which fits the mood. There is no point to this film, but that's part of its charm. It all seems to add up to more than it appears, but it doesn't really. I can't discern a real message. But don't let that stop you from watching it. It's better than a big-budget Hollywood shoot-em-up....more info
pieces of time Jim Jarmusch presents a series of unrelated conversations between celebrities/individuals over coffee and cigarettes. It is disconnected, not entirely entertaining at times, but despite being hit or miss, was watchable. Of particular note are the hilarious chat between the stellar Alfred Molina and British Steve Coogan, and also between Cate Blanchett and herself playing her own cousin. Also quite humorous, the conversation between Iggy Pop and Tom Waits. The rest of all right, but really rather slow and a little dull. Then again, not every conversation over coffee and cigarettes is going to be riveting. Maybe that is the point. ...more info
A Fun Idea for a DVD, not necessarily good Film. I think some people who have negatively reviewed this movie are doing so because they didn't find out more about the movie before renting it, and therefore had their hopes up it would be an actual Film by Jim Jarmusch, whereas it is actually a series of short conversations caught ON film. True, some of them are quiet boring and need not exist. I love Cate Blanchett but watching her talk to herself (cousin) for fifteen minutes got on my nerves. On the other hand, watching the akwardness between Iggy Pop and Tom Waits, watching the brother and sister argument between Jack and Meg White (don't know if they're really siblings or not still, but they played brother and sister), and watching a naive Steve Buscemi with a southern accent try to talk to a pair of twins about Elvis Presley were all rewarding. Its not real drama or comedy in this movie, its a bunch of quirky little bits and pieces that have little to do with one another, except for the talk over and about Coffee and Ciggarettes. I'd say to fans of Jim Jarmusch or any of the actors in the film, watch it all the way through once, then you can pick out the pieces you really didn't like and never see them again. But don't think that just because it doens't have a linear plot or connecting stories and characters that it isn't worth your time. The truth is, I'm happy I didn't pay full price to see this in a theatre, but it makes for a perfect DVD.
The two funniest sketches are probably the end sketch with RZA and GZA drinking tee with Bill Murray playing their waiter, and the scene between Alfred Molina (whose just looking for someone to love him!) and Steve Coogan. I'd definately rent it before buying it, unless you've just GOT to have the complete Jim Jarmusch collection....more info
Make that decafe please This DVD is worth seeing especial for fans of JJ. Any film that has Bill Murry and Taylor Mead has to be seen at least once. ...more info
Like coffee with old friends - comfy, familiar, a bit lazy. I have a love/hate relationship with Jim Jarmusch's films. On the one hand, I love their dry wit, their humanity, and their reliance on character over plot. On the other hand, they are often slow and plodding, sometimes so episodic they don't feel coherent.
"Coffee and Cigarettes" reaffirms pretty much every aspect of Jim Jarmusch's work that I have outlined above. In fact, the film as good as celebrates most of them. It's slow, episodic, and has no plot, all of which it wears on its sleeve. At the same time, though, it's the characters and the conversations that really pull you in. You might almost say this film is Jarmusch's mission statement, fashioned into a little artistic work of its very own.
There are enough little scenarios here that at least a couple will match everyone's taste. Personally, my favorites were the first three - especially the Benigni/Wright and Pop/Waits segments - all of which pre-date the rest of the film significantly. Of the new material, the segment with the White Stripes is quite nice, and the ending with Taylor Mead and Bill Rice is perfect.
To say the film doesn't have faults would be a lie, however. It's easily too long - there are eleven little vignettes here, and regardless of the content, it would have worked better without two or three of them. At 97 minutes the film is quite good; at 77 it would have been magnificent. Personally, I felt the "Cousins" (with Cate Blanchett) and "Cousins?" (with Alfred Molina and Steve Coogan) sequences were simply dragged out for far too long, though they had good material; the "Renee" episode, on the other hand, was simply dead weight. It's worth remembering, though, that opinions vary drastically on which vignettes are best/worst, and my guess is no two people will see the film in the exact same way. Which is probably just as it should be.
If you like Jim Jarmusch, you've probably already seen "Coffee and Cigarettes" and formed your own opinion. If you haven't, but you know some of his other work, I give it an easy recommendation - if nothing else, as a rental for a rainy day. It's not his best film - that, in my humble view, is "Down by Law" - but it's far more accessible and less frustrating than many of them. Just remember - if you don't like a certain vignette, there's always another just around the corner...
MGM's DVD is presented in its original 1.85:1 widescreen ratio; it's a very clear, clean black-and-white picture, film-like, but without excessive grain. The extras are sparse: the rather simplistic music video "Tabletops," a drearily unfunny outtake with Bill Murray, a pleasant but totally fluffy promotional interview with Taylor Mead, and the original threatrical trailer (which is, oddly enough, not the same as the trailer I saw in the theatre). None of these, unfortunately, are really worth your time. A commentary or interview with Jim Jarmusch would have been far more appreciated....more info
Don't even RENT it You may find yourself in the 'c' section of the video store some day, and idle curiosity may lead you to pick up "Coffee and Cigarettes" by Jim Jarmusch. It has somewhat interesting packaging, it's directed by the guy who made "Dead Man" and "Ghost Dog", and it has a cast list that would make any fan of off the wall films practically salivate (just a few of them would be: Meg and Jack White, Steve Buscemi, Iggy Pop, Tom Waits, Bill Murray, Steven Wright, and Alfred Molina). Unfortunately, NONE of these factors make this piece of garbage suck any less.
Jim Jarmusch, where is your shame?
Take a further look at the pictures on the back of the video. Do you see all those people sitting at tables looking away from each other and not saying anything? Well, easily one third of the movie consists of just that: people sitting at a table looking away from each other and not saying anything. I can see that at any local coffee shop, and I don't have to pay a rental fee to do it.
The film consists of eleven 'scenes' between two or three actors in which they drink coffee, smoke cigarettes and talk, sorta. One such scene featured Steven Wright and Roberto Benigni. Another featured Tom Waits and Iggy Pop. A third featured The White Stripes talking about a Tesla coil. Amazingly, every one of these people comes across as boring, insipid and uninspired. Jaramusch has even somehow managed to make a Tesla coil boring, and that's saying something.
Don't get me wrong, I'm as big a fan of pretentious nonsense as the next person, but I expect my pretentious nonsense to at least be entertaining. This film makes me wonder if Jarmusch was sitting at home and thought to himself, "Gee, I want to make a film, but I don't really want to do all that messy work like coming up with an interesting story and writing an engaging script." Unfortunately, it would appear that he's got a big filing cabinet full of very compromising information about lots of talented actors, because blackmail is about the only way I could see most of these people agreeing to be involved with this pathetic waste of time.
So, yeah, I admit it: I don't get it, I don't WANT to get it, and I'm not afraid to say it. One of the reviewers quoted on the back claimed that this movie was 'buzzy and ephemeral'... the only buzz I got was the feeling of all the oxygen being sucked out of my brain as I slowly suffocated in arty pointlessness. Any time that a conversation between Tom Waits and Iggy Pop can be made boring and insultingly stupid, there is a problem.
I vote that as punishment for making this movie, Jim Jarmusch be forced to direct the big screen updated version of Giligan's Island....more info
How about ZERO stars for a ZERO of a movie? This "movie" was SO BAD, I just knew it had to get better. I waited through the segments for a glimmer of something funny, entertaining or even interisting...NOTHING! I hoped there was some punchline at the end or something to make these stories come together...NOTHING! Please, if you're reading this, DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME! I want the time of my life wasted on this back. I think I should sue!...more info
A colossal bore This movie sounds interesting, but, trust me, it isn't. There are some wonderful people in it, but it doesn't matter. They pretty much don't do or say anything. I have a high tolerance for boring and will hang in there to the end with many films that are quite dreadful. And I like talky movies--if they're smart. But this movie isn't intelligent and is just so very dull that even I couldn't stand it. I watched all of a few, but at least part of, every sequence--if you do buy or rent this movie, you'll be impressed--and it was tough going. The only sequence that was somewhat interesting was the one with Cate Blanchett. So, if you do rent or buy it and you're ready to throw in the towel, flip to that scene, just so you think you got something for your money. It's not great, but it's the best the movie has to offer....more info
excellent love it or hate it.
Oh well typical in a pop-art sort of way we find a DVD here that gives you back about as much as you put into it. While some people enjoy the wierd minimal off setting feel of the whole movie, other trash it, becuase it didn't grab them by the balls and tell them what they should be thinking about. It's a very subtle, The beginging is very slow paced and often "dry" leaving you to focus on subtle things like the many ways the Twin are actually different, much like the ways each scene relate/differ. The end speeds up a bit and you get some less subtle moments like meg-and jack .. and the lovely scene between Alfred Molina and Steve Coogan. The high light of the entire "collection in my opinion didn't even come from any of the people I knew before hand "No Problem" was the one that sticks out the most for me.
I mean the movie just has a kinda of vibe to it all and its stitched together with certain dialog keys and of course the overall style. I found myself either constantly offset by the mixture of unrealstic dialog mixed with people playing themselves in a fictious enviroment where they end up playing charactures of themselves. It's like the minor joys and flaws of each ofthese people on display, some times your kinda confused at the way people are portraying "themselves", but its all very human.
The Cate Blanchett peice is extreamly well done. Since you see this very odd side of her playing herself probably overly shallow, and Like myself most people didn't realize that she was also playing her "fictious" broke cousin.
Its a love it or hate it kind of thing, the movie fits the title. very well. And I hate Coffee and I don't smoke. (go figure),...more info
ethnography and psychology in the vastness of a gesture The movie is almost an impossible project... The set is made of one table, a couple of chairs, few cups of coffee and no more than 10-15 square feet of space around them. The camera is usually fixed and the picture is black and white. Jim Jarmusch uses these self-imposed limitations (reminiscent of Danish Dogma) only to prove what we usually forget: beauty is most of the times in details and in their good measure and there is much suspense in each gesture. The actors are absolutely formidable. The humor is pervasive but minimalist allowing the epilogue to take place on Mahler's music. One brief remark on the ethnographical value that is present in every movie made by JJ. The movie functions very well as a display of his vast collection of impressions and travel notes: jukebokes, cofee mugs, tables, table clothes (very meticulously different from one scene to another), lipsticks, waiter's caps, etc. It reminds us of Nabokov's passion for collecting buterflies. How does Jarmusch catch his luna moths? ...more info
Helpful to look beneath the surface What I think a lot of people seem to be missing with this movie is the parallels between coffee/cigarrettes and optimism/pessimism. Each vignette alligns its characters with one or the other. Beyond being a hip little collection of films, the interaction between characters and the arising outlooks are interesting. Pay attention to which ones are excited and which are complete skeptics. See who gets along and who can't stand each other. A very interesting movie, but definately not for those wanting an affair devoid of independent thought. They don't call it indie filmmaking for nothing....more info
miserable failure...(not George Bush) How about a plot and characters? I am a fan of Jarmusch, but even Bill, Tom and Iggy weren't enough to make this one worth sitting through. You'd be well served to rent this on dvd so you can skip through the slower parts. Perhaps Mr. Jarmusch's point is making a film about nothing, but he's no Jean Luc....more info
Jarmusch continues to diminish his legend If you thought "Ghost Dog" was as bad as it could get, you were mistaken. This "film" would get a failing grade if submitted by an 18 year old at NYU film school. Everyone involved in making this boring, shoddily acted and directed travesty needs to be slapped. Perhaps a few critics who breathe a more rarifed air, or have evolved beyond requiring the burdens of plot, quality of acting, script, or basic direction, will find this celluloid atrocity entertaining. They should be slapped too. And slapped again.
The stink of this film will linger long after you flush it from your DVD player. Even Bill Murray could not save it, but I could never find it within my heart to slap Bill.
Jarmusch can only redeem himself now by perhaps saving a busload of children, and dying in the process.
An Interesting Experiment Jim Jarmusch's "Coffee and Cigarettes" is a strange but interesting experiment. It is comprised of about a dozen short skits of people in restaurants talking (obviously to the accompaniment of the title addictions). Some of the highlights include an amusing pairing of Bill Murray and the Wu Tang Clan, a strange encounter between Roberto Benigni and Steven Wright, a marvelously acted piece between Cate Blanchette and herself in a dual role as her cousin, and, best of all, a sad and funny scene with Steve Coogan and Alfred Molina. While the pieces aren't particularly satisfying on their own, as a whole, they make up a fascinating study of human nature, not to mention some fine entertainment. The DVD from MGM has the film in its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio. The black and white image is very good looking with few scratches and little grain. The extra features are a theatrical trailer, shots of tabletops, an interview with actor Taylor Meade, and an unfortunately short blooper with Bill Murray. Far more interesting than any of these would have been an interview with Jarmusch....more info
But Everyone Else Will Be Bored While everyone else may not be "just like me" as noted by another reviewer, a lot of people will be just as bored as me by watching this mindless tripe. It is pure crap. Not in the least bit interesting and a waste of everyone's time and money. I couldn't help thinking what a lazy filmmaker this is. All he had to do was point a camera at a table and get the actors to talk. The result is about as dull as one could imagine, or possibly more so. I'm not sure whether the dialogue was scripted or improvised, but it is completely trite and superficial. I fell asleep a couple of times during this film. It stinks....more info
celluloid diaorrhea can one find absolutely any redeeming quality in the title's subject matter? I wouldn't think so. And nor could any quality be found with this pesudo avante garde pretend/artsy piece of dog manure. Like a 'street person' I once saw in Westwood Village who was TRYING to be a street person. It just don't work and it stinks, to boot. ...more info
Weird, But Worth It Each vignette is basically the same: two people seemingly miscommunicating and casting oddly ominous glances at one or the other. I did enjoy the soundtrack, though, which fits the mood. There is no point to this film, but that's part of its charm. It all seems to add up to more than it appears, but it doesn't really. I can't discern a real message. But don't let that stop you from watching it. It's better than a big-budget Hollywood shoot-em-up....more info
meh I was expecting much more from this series of short films. More humor, more artistic expression, something. I watched until the end, hoping it would get better. It didn't. Most of the scenes were mildly entertaining, but not really worth watching for more than a few minutes....more info
Everyday human interaction This film is a collection of eleven vignettes the cover what happens after the big meal, the calm with just the after-dinner coffee and cigarettes. This is not meant to be as satisfying as a meal, but it lets us enjoy the interaction when people just meet and share some time together to catch up (or not).
Jim Jarmusch uses an all-star cast to show us the entertainment in everyday human interaction. Although some combinations seem obvious (like Meg White and Jack White), some seem almost contradictory (like Steven Wright with Roberto Benigni), while others are simply odd (Cate Blanchett with Cate Blanchett). Regardless of the pairing, we hear recurring themes which blend the stories together as well as connect us with the stories. A viewer would be hard pressed to find a conversation that he or she hasn't heard or had before.
This is an off-beat film, but it is thoroughly enjoyable. I would recommend taking a moment to revel in our casual meetings, as shown here over coffee and cigarettes.
What is the point of this? You see names attatched to a movie such as Bill Murray, Steve Buscemi, Cate Blanchett and Alfred Molina and you think that could be a really killer combination if they did it right. Jim Jarmusch completely squanders this opportunity and instead delivers one of the biggest blights on any of these actor's resumes. What a waste of talent and film.
If I could summerize the plot for you I would, except there is no plot. It's little segments of actors, usually two to three sitting around talking about nothing in particular while drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes. Usually the majority of the conversation has to do with doing so. It's as if Jarmusch just invited some friends over to a coffee house, set up a camera and rolled film just to see what would happen. "What's my motivation in this scene Jim?", "You're drinking coffee and you're smoking and whatever else pops into your head.". I can imagine that's pretty much how it happened.
Cate Blanchett acts opposite herself and was the only actor that I was interested in watching really, cause she actually acted and played a character. Most of the others just kind of showed up and didn't perform, they just improv, but it's hard to do that when you're working with no material.
Trust me, stay away from this mess. It boggles my mind that this actually got distributed in any shape or form. If there were no big names in it, you would have never heard of it and it would be better for it. You'd be better off having coffee and cigarettes with your friends. Even if you don't like coffee and don't smoke you would still have a much better time....more info
Interesting idea that falls way short I think this set of vignettes was a great idea but fails because of a lack of real substantive creative material. The participants generally suffered from bad timing and they seemed lost. The settings were canned and awkward and sterile whereas places where people consume coffee and cigarettes are generally interesting.
I believe the creator was counting on the hipness of himself and his cool creative crowd to carry the day, but that's not a substitute for a script, or good dialogue, or having the scenes come to some kind of point or resolution.
I'll put it on when I want to fall asleep or when I need to vacuum....more info
straight-faced hilarity humor like this is so rare and so wonderful. there is no action to speak of, just conversations at tables, which lets the actors really do their stuff. it is amazing to see them work. if you need to see car crashes and explosions, this is not for you, but for those who appreciate subtle, hip comedy and fine acting it is highly recommended....more info
Killing Me Softly With These Things...
"Coffee and Cigarettes" (2004) written and directed by Jim Jarmush is a very simple movie shot in B/W. It is a collection of eleven shorts where famous actors, comedians, rock-stars, and musicians played themselves. They drink coffee (lots of it), smoke, and talk. While each segment is short, we still can learn a lot about human nature.
Whether you like the film or not, does not even depend on whether you like coffee and cigarettes. I quit smoking many years ago but I love coffee (I prefer it strong, hot, no sugar, thanks) and I still remember that it was fun to sit over a cup of coffee and cigarette with the friends and talk about movies, books, plays, music, art, life...
Of eleven shorts, six were wonderful. I read some comments and was surprised that there are so many negative opinions. Some viwers think that the movie was slow - I did not even notice how the time flew. After I finished watching it, I started all over and watched the ones that I loved for a second time. The best, IMO are "Somewhere in California" with Iggy Pop and Tom Waits, "Cousins" - (Cate Blanchette plays a dual role - herself and her not so successful cousin); "These Things Will Kill You" (Joe Rigano, Vinny Vella, and Vinny Vella, Jr), "Cousins?" - easily the best in the bunch (Alfred Molina and Steve Coogan), "Delirious" - the funniest (RZA, GZA, and Bill Murray), and the final one, the elegiac "Champagne" - (Bill Rice and Taylor Mead)
authentic or artificial? Writer and director Jim Jarmusch gathers ostensibly random combinations of conversation partners in coffee shops for smoke, drink, and impromptu talk. There is no introduction or conclusion, no soundtrack except for the ambient, background noise of the various coffee shops, no narration or explanation, and filmed in black and white. But only two of the eleven vignettes worked for me; the others felt and sounded very much like playing for the camera. The effect was artificial rather than authentic human conversations about important matters....more info
What goes with coffee and cigarettes... A collection of vignettes that take place in various setting but all include coffee and cigarettes. This film is all black and white. Some of the short scenes are funny, some sad, some just 'eh, what was that about?', and some that made you think. There are even two totally different scenes that have basically the same dialogue but have a different feel to them because of the actors. This is definitely not a film for everyone but it's worth a try -- the time flew by as I watched and while it was uneven it wasn't wasted time. ...more info
Uneventful This movie is a compilation of short movies of singular and plural people hanging around in cafes and diners over simply cigarettes and coffee. Some movies are duds but some of them are totally brilliant and funny. Alfred Molina and Steve Coogan conversation, entitled "Cousins?", Cate Blanchett playing herself and her cousin in "Cousin", the Whites from the White Stripes are some of the gems that you can find in here. It's really unique to have singers partaking in this project such as Iggy Pop, Tom Waite, Wu-Tang Clan, White Stripes. Bizzare, uneventful and something to be enjoyed in DVD. No extras. Commendable watching. ...more info
Original... BUT... DON"T WATCH IF YOU"RE TRYING to QUIT SMOKING. This is one film where the pleasure of smoking is made only too real.
Some of the vignettes are better than others, with a favorite being Tom and Iggy....more info
If you don't have an advanced degree, don't bother. This is a film that the proletariat will not get. It's themes are deeper and more complex than the average person will be able to grasp. Its depth can be measured only by comparing it the Marianas Trench. And in deference to the film, I think every DVD or VHS of this film should be dropped down there.
Robert Benigni and Steven Wright's opening number will tickle your funny bone and make you shake your head in delightful confusion and sympathy for these seemingly talented performers. It may confound you and make you think that it's an unintelligible, self-referential piece of tripe, but YOU would be wrong. Then there's Jack and Meg White's tip of the hat to Nikola Tesla. This is heart-wrenching stuff. Those of you who aren't knocked to the floor with the dramatic weight of this scene must have ice-water in your veins. Yes, the Whites are musicians, but here they'll play your heartstrings like some sort of woodwind instrument. An emotional triumph.
Overall, I can't write enough about the fecundity of this feature. Jim Jarmusch is an auteur. He must of had one heck of a pitch to get financing for this picture, because on the surface it has no redeeming qualities. But if you dare to look a little deeper and spend some more time with it, you might just find that your initial interpretation was correct. ...more info
Too boring for words I don't have a knee-jerk reaction against artistic movies, and am not a big fan of Hollywood blockbusters. I just ask that a movie be interesting. This was, by far, the most boring movie I have ever watched. There was not one moment where I felt amused or captivated. I expected more given the quality of the cast. ...more info
"Just don't tell anyone." Simply awful. the whole plot, if any, was about meanigless discussions that had no relevance or interest in one another while sipping coffee and smoking cigarettes. WHY ARE YOU GOING TO MAKE A MOVIE ABOUT COFFEE AND CIGARETTES??!!!...more info
Flawed but moments of brilliance Reading the previous reviews, I felt compelled to add a comment or two. Clearly, the film has its problems. Several of the skits, even with their current short durations, could be clipped to give the snapshot effect Jarmusch is going for without leaving the audience feeling like they're watching "real time" action because of its new trendiness in the art for art's sake camp. What the film sometimes misses is that the uncomfortable silences and pauses in meaningful activity in our everyday lives often feel far more important at the time than they are in "the grand scheme of things" and so the flatness of some skits due to that kind of inactivity shows that it didn't translate into film for that particular scene.
However, there are some moments I will never forget. At moments provacative, simply amusing, or so penetrating into the human spirit, I would gladly pick this one up again, like a good book whose few rocky moments can be skimmed through.
By far, I was most touched by the last sketch, "Champagne." It is a well-crafted scene in all ways and works well independently from the rest of the film. However, it also works in context as the sentiment it evokes feels natural as a closing remark for this film. The lighting is beautiful. The sound is very well-done, playing between silences, natural noises, the gentle lilt of speech and the soaring notes that float in from the music heard. William Rice and Taylor Mead possess a grace that is seldom seen these days. They play their roles with a finesse that marks a deeply emotionally-invested individual. You want to connect with them. Watching people briefly interact over coffee and cigarettes throughout the film, if one makes it to "Champagne," one feels as if a connection was finally solidified between characters, while so many others tried and failed or made brief and tenuous connections only. Also, with this last, as an audience member, we are finally allowed an entrance into that world in an interactive sense because we hear the music found only in one old man's head. We've been grafted onto that landscape and not only understand conceptually but also feel the emotional impact of what this abstract film is trying to communicate....more info
pretty great I think this movie is great. Yeah, it's dry and it "isn't about anything", but I think it's hilarious and cool and awesome. I generaly like movies like this with no real "story", It's understandable that some people who bore easily wouldn't like this, but well I think its good....more info
You'll Need Plenty Of Both To Stay Awake Through This Jim Jarmusch is a fun guy to have around because his sensibility is so consistently and genuinely offbeat. His work is always understated, relying on tone and mood more than plot or even character. When he gets it right, as in Down By Law, Mystery Train, and Ghost Dog, the results are thoroughly satisfying. When he fails, as in Stranger Than Paradise and Coffee And Cigarettes, the results are catastrophic.
Paradise, an early effort, looked like a student film created by someone who eventually became a toll-taker on the interstate. Coffee And Cigarettes was in the works for decades. The project is remarkable in that it fails on so many levels. The premise of holding together unrelated skits through the coffee-shop atmosphere fails. The conceit of tossing out the script and letting actors improvise fails. But the disastrous failure is thinking that audiences want to see actors and third-string musicians being themselves.
The point of actors is that they are good at being other people, what they're worst at is being themselves, assuming there's anything there to begin with. The names on the box are promising, the potential for something was present. But self-indulgent artiness doth not a summer make, and attitude, no matter how overtly hip, is no substitute for content. ...more info
One of the worst movies ever made. This movie defies description. While the concept is interesting, the screenplay is absolutely horrendoues. None of the stories have any point whatsoever except two jagoffs srinking coffee and smoing cigarettes.
It's hard to believe this film even got made....more info
Watching a chicken lay an egg is a whole lot more exciting!! Yes, I've led a very sad and sheltered life. My oddities have ranged from listening to chess matches on the radio to watching in full attention how a chicken lays an egg and that's 21 days of incubation for you people and that beats the heck outta this... so called artistic film(?). I'll never understand this abstract crap, abstract art whether it is portrayed on a canvas or film is bound to mean anything and don't give me that Pollock/Rothko jazz about them being talented enough to paint "beautiful/realistic" images but choose not to, 'cause who in their right f*cking mind stares at a wall painted in two colours in a ratio of 3 to 1? Or a canvas with random paint strokes with a few nail clippings and a few cigarette fags stuck to it? Only a Hapless imbecile with nothing else better to do with his time/money.
I love the irony of these so called "abstract artists" that feel offended when elephants and chimps are cunningly put up against them on the podium of ABSTRACTION with a canvas and a paintbrush. Hath the prospect of equality ever tasted so good?? Hahaha
Don't waste your money buying this junk, unless you're buying it for someone else and happen to HATE them with passion. Heck don't even rent it, it's minutes of your life you will NEVER get back, go wash the dishes or vaccum your room. I was strong enough to see more than three quarters of an hour and I felt VIOLATED!!!...more info
Awful, just plain awful Not worthy of much discussion. Stupid, ugly, deadly boring, but worse than that. The actors look & act like they had a gun to their heads.
I do love those viewers who praise the blackness of the blacks & the whiteness of the white (film tones not people)....more info
I like Jim Jarmush but... I usually love Jim Jarmush films, but this one is just painful. With good editing, this would have made a decent 15 or 20 minutes of comedy. Don't fall for the big names - this so-called movie features the most disappointing performances of Steve Buscemi and Bill Murray you've ever seen. Expect between 0 (zero) and 2 of the 10 skits to actually be worth your time, or at least not be agonizingly slow. Most are just pathetic, which should not be mistaken for funny (e.g. two smokers who quit - so now they can smoke - that's NOT worth 10 minutes). I'd recommend using the time to watch Broken Flowers or Stranger Than Paradise again, instead of this physically painful flop. ...more info
Quirky, unusual, surprisingly funny I saw this in the theatre and wasn't sure what to expect -- hadn't seen a Jim Jarmusch movie in a long time. I was pleased to see something else I hadn't seen in a long time - a movie without a real narrative, that presents simple little ideas gathered around a theme (the coffee and cigarettes), lets them play out and then moves on to the next. Judging by the other reviews here, a lot of people didn't get it, so let's presume it's an acquired taste. But if you like the idea of Tom Waits getting touchy over Iggy Pop's offer to introduce him to a drummer Iggy likes (Waits: "What are you saying? The drumming on my records sucks?"), or Bill Murray pouring joe for the Wu-Tang Clan, this one'll tickle you. Some of it is hilarious, some of it is touching, all of it is in black and white....more info
Waiting for Elvis . . . As scanning the customer reviews here shows, this film is not for everyone. Both less and more than a series of theatrical blackouts, its mostly improvisational sketches reveal how a series of actors / personalities (playing themselves) can turn the glimmer of an idea into something with flashes of insight into the human condition.
Yes, the conversations over coffee and cigarettes are sometimes boring and repetitive, but in the way that smoking and drinking coffee are ways to fill time, I was often reminded of Beckett's "Waiting for Godot." This came across most strongly in the last piece between two old men (played by William Rice and Taylor Mead) who seem to be janitors on break in some netherworld where if you listen hard enough you can hear Mahler.
And yes, some of the sketches fall flat, but just when you are about to reach for the remote, you find yourself watching a situation that comes wonderfully to life (Alfred Molina and Steve Coogan are brilliant as two Brits in LA). And as the editorial review at the top of the page indicates, there are several other sketches that are worth waiting for. Finally, when the film was over, I couldn't believe there were no more of them to watch. The 95 minutes had flown by.
Definitely for Jim Jarmusch fans, the DVD includes an entertaining interview with Taylor Mead. ...more info
Missed by a mile. I generally like and enjoy the films of Jim Jarmusch. But this one just fell flat. The situations in most of these little windows on moments are basically quite silly and terribly contrived. I kept hoping the film would get better as it went along and each section came up lacking. The only one that evoked any interest in me at all was the bit with Iggy Pop and Tom Waits. Other than that, I was completely disappointed in what appeared to be a haphazard jumble of poorly scripted short films stitched together by intervening titles....more info
This is just for certain people Once in a while I don't like movies most people love to death. Once in a while I love movies most people don't care for. That's right. It is a matter of preference. I like this one very subjectively. I know this one is not for everybody. Just for certain people - like myself. I like things unique, and this film falls into that category. Even though I like it, as a film it does not have high quality. ...more info
not for the faint of brain let me say, that i loved this movie. i loved it as a whole. i did not "love" every part of it. I think the part with Tom Waits & Iggy Pop is brilliantly awkward. I think Cate Blanchett can do no wrong. I enjoyed seeing someone else who feels that Nikola Tesla was awesomely bizarre (thanks Jack). I mean, don't get me wrong, some vignettes dragged, but others more than made up for it. When a scene was dragging on me, i just drifted off and enjoyed the cinematography. This movie is very much a "different" experience. With the kinda free-flow dialouge that makes movies by Robert Altman and Richard Linklater so endearing. And a shoulder shrugging hipness that makes Quentin Tarantino and Wes Anderson some of my personal favorites. This movie reminds me that Jim Jarmusch is a curious observer, just like me, and that he isn't just an aloof director, but that he experiences the pieces much like we do. He's our friend or guide, like in a Walt Whitman poem. But then again, i suppose this movie isn't for everyone. There is no plot to follow, and its not a particularly "flashy" film. It's not even terrible experimental in terms of concept. But i am glad that this is the case, cos oft times that type of stuff borders on pretention when in the wrong hands. The only really "challenge" this film poses, is the challenge of the way you choose to participate in it. I would enjoy seeing more of this kind of filmmaking cos i think it is a welcome change of pace from the "falsh/bang" of hollywood. Or maybe i just really like coffee.......more info
It Works On Some Interesting Levels I am admittedly a lover of hard core indie film, so I'm generally more forgiving of flawed works if I can discern a spark of genius. That's how I view Coffee and Cigs. The director may be well known, but looking at this film you get the idea that he's a first time filmmaker attempting to break some new ground. At times he accomplishes just that. At other times, you kind of wonder where the scene is going. I would say the only scene I did not like was the one with the two rocks stars (Iggy Pop and I forget the other guy's name). I think it okay to give stars their stroking, but this scene was all pop star hubris. Other than that, the film is actually a pretty warm and inviting series of anecdotes. Not for the super picky or Hollywood brainwashed. ...more info
Who wrote the dialogue in this movie? It's AWFUL
This could have been one of the greatest cult classics of all time but an idiot wrote it. I don't know he is but I guarantee he didn't work hard to get where he is today. Even the RZA, GZA and Bill Murray couldn't save this piece of junk. Don't get me wrong the idea is wicked cool, but it would have been a better investment if they let some Community College students write the dialogue.
Three Stars For Three Talents, Especially Cate Blanchett Over the period of 18 years, Jim Jarmusch shot 11 short films, all black and white (his trademark), with a small number of actors for each segment. He then collected them in this package 'Coffee and Cigarettes' which you are seeing right now.
Because of the nature of the film(s), 'Coffee and Cigarettes' is literally a mixed bag. Some of them might interest you, but I'm afraid not many of them would manage to be interesting enough unless you are a die-hard fan of Jarmusch, which I am not. But, anyway, you see these people here:
[LIST OF SHORTS] Robert Benini & Steven Wright in 'Strange to Meet You'; Joie Lee (Spike's brother) & Cinque Lee (Spike' sister) in 'Twins'; Iggy Pop & Tom Waits in 'Somewhere in California'; Joe Rigarno & Vinny Vella & Vinny Vella Jr. in 'Those Things Kill Ya'; Renee French & E.J.Rodriguez in 'Renee'; Alex Descas & Isaach de Bankole in 'No Problem'; Cate Blanchett in 'Cousins'; Meg White & Jack White in 'Jack Shows Meg His Tesla Coil'; Alfred Molina & Steve Coogan in 'Cousins?'; GZA & RZA & Bill Murray in 'Delirium; 'Bill Rice & Taylor Mead in 'Champagne'.
Because of the space, I don't write about the contents, except that each film is very talky, in which people talk over the table, drinking coffee or smoking. But you may know Jarmusch's films are so-called "acquired taste," and this film is no exception. The characters exchange the casual dialogues that might or might not betray their hidden feelings toward each other, and at its best, they are amusing to listen to.
So what is the best? The prize goes to Cate Blanchett who plays herself and her fictional cousin, and you are allowed to see the latter's thinly-disguised envy toward the success of the other. The dual roles (you see the two Cates in one frame) are skillfully handled by Cate Blanchett, whom I started to admire more than ever after seeing her turn.
Another good segment is about Alfred Molina and Steve Coogan, both playing themselves. Coogan meets Molina, rather reluctantly at first. When he realizes that Molina's admiration for him, Coogan begins to talk to him condecendingly until one incident which suddenly changes their relations. Good acting, and nice touch of irony.
But I am afraid not many parts are as good as these two, and Bill Murray, ususally very engaging with his tired face, is really disappointing. Another bad thing is Jarmusch's approach, which becomes redundant as the film goes on. Some of the segments are plain dull, some half-baked, or even look like coming from a film school student.
So my three stars are based on Cate Blanchett, Steve Coogan, and underrated Alfred Molina. Thrre stars for three talents. ...more info
A misunderstood film I feel the need to correct a statement made by one of the reviewers here. He said "this movie is only for people who really like the IDEA that they're watching a "cool" and "artsy" movie, but who don't actually have any interest in new ideas or even in being provoked into thought." I believe the opposite is true...
This movie is for people who DO HAVE an interest in new ideas and care to be provoked into thought and NOT for those who only like the IDEA that they're watching a "cool, artsy" movie.
I have to say that my first viewing left me confused and disappointed. I guess it all comes down to one's expectations of the film...actually of any film. We expect a plot, confrontation, resolution. We are used to being entertained by high budget films that take us for a ride, spell out everything, leaving nothing to subtlety. This film is all so subtle. It is a quiet film. Its entertainment value lies with those who have an interest in human nature. Upon a second viewing, instead of my waiting for something to happen, I was able to focus on the faces, the body language, the dynamics going on between the actors. I could relate!
I would like also to mention my nostaglia for the title & theme of this film "Coffee & Cigarettes". How I miss the days when I could get a cup of caffeine and light up the nicotine to go along with it while sitting in a public place. I don't know how it is in your part of the country but here if I even light up at someone's barbeque they tell me to walk outside the yard notwithstanding the infinite sky overhead. People have gone crazy over the fear of cigarettes! Coffee shops, as they once were, are nonexistent. They would stone me if I lit up at Starbucks. Oh! the nostalgia of it all. ...more info
Awful, tedious to watch. I got through about four of the stories before I had to turn it off. This movie is what happens when you try way too hard to be cool. The dialogue was so dull I felt like I was sitting at Thanksgiving dinner while uncle Ed regaled us with his same tired old stories, chuckling at his own cleverness while you secretly wished he might choke on his turkey leg. The minutes passed like hours and at one point I thought I might keep it on and just read a book. That's when I knew it just wasn't working. When you'd rather read through your movie than actually watch it, something is wrong.
The long list of celebs might make you think for a second that something is worthwhile here, but no amount of creative marketing could make this thing worth watching if you have half a brain. This movie tries to be art school hip but just fails miserably on so many levels, and if I hear the words "coffee and cigarettes" again (could you pound it into our heads anymore in every scene?) I'm going to scream.
I just can't see how anyone could possibly find this movie funny or amusing or clever in any way. If you're one of those people who did, I have some home movies here of some paint drying that you might be interested in....more info
Err, something happened on the way to hipdom.. I'll start off by speculating a bit: if this was Jim Jarmusch's way of playing a joke on global audiences by making an awful film to see if they'd revel on it afraid as to not be hip, well, he failed. The audiences hated it. And they didnt care about being hip.
If on the other hand, and here's the worst part, Jim Jarmusch actually completed this film thinking he made a hip, funny, "alternative" and kinda weird movie revolving around people just sipping coffee and puffing away on cigarettes, well he failed again. And gave a bad name to smoking and coffee drinking on top of it.
Then again maybe he was experimenting (for all i know) by letting people do the coffee thingie without any script and simply allowing them to improvise and say whatever lines crossed their skulls. Nope, i checked in the credits and it says "written and directed by Jim Jarmusch". Of course we dont really know what his idea of "writting" is, but we cant know everything, can we...
I wouldnt recommend this film to anyone suicidal, anyone who wants to give up coffee and/or anyone neurotic or intelligent. Nor to anyone in desperate need to save even the three dollars for the rental. Come to think of it, i wouldnt even reccommend this to people i dont like because i'd know 100% they wouldnt actually see it till the end, and thus my goal to ruin their night through-n-through would be foiled.
"Coffee and Cigarettes" is excruciatingly unfunny, bar a few lines here and there which you can get for free in a real environment (i.e a real coffee shop) just by listening in to strangers. You know though that if you were to do that you'd also get bored to the point of apoplexy. But the film is actually worse than that.
Loads of very talented people combine their efforts in wasting their talents in this disaster. No need to name them, it's a sizey list. Weirdly enough, it seems that most of them are not only enjoying playing in it but they seem convinced they're playing in something worthwhile.
At least someone enjoyed the process then.
doosh bag reviewers are too cool for school It is funny to me that the moment something becomes popular (i.e. jim jarmusch) that the only way for the cool to remain pretentiously cooler than everybody else is to write silly and pendantic reviews where they bash the new. the movie is not boring, the people who watch it are boring and they are so used to watching commercials and experiencing cheap cinematic ejaculation that they never actually pay attention to what they are watching. if something isnt layed out in their grubby palms then they complain for having to work for it. guess what, the one redeeming quality of this movie is exactly that, it makes you work for it.
all of the characters in this express crystaline reflections of there selves refracting off the forever frozen prism that is jarmusch's world. he sets the actors into floating scenes regarding one of the last great american traditions left. coffee and cigarettes. maybe it's because i read primarily that i was able to appreciate this movie but i personally feel that in a country that has struggled for its identity since its birth that jarmusch has captured a fragment of its essence. a beautiful work of american impressionism, and f@#$ all the haters......more info
Unintelligent and Poorly Executed Coffee and Cigarettes consists of vignettes wherein a few people sit around a table in assorted cafes and lounges, smoking and drinking coffee. For a film director, I can imagine that this would be an exciting and daunting format for a film- the kind that tests a director's undiluted skills in the areas of story, character, and camera work. No big budgets, confusing schedules, or complicated story lines. With Coffee and Cigarettes, Jim Jarmusch essentially lays his talent bare, but the results aren't good.
It is not difficult to see what is wrong with the film. Jarmusch's vignettes lack purpose, compelling characters, or an interesting plot. Some vignettes are clearly worse than others, and perhaps one or two may strike a chord with the viewer, but in general, the vignettes are boring and unfocused. The problem lies singularly with the director and not with the performances. Accomplished actors like Cate Blanchett, Bill Murray, Alfred Molina, and Roberto Benigni and hard-working musicians, Meg and Jack White, Tom Waits, RZA and GZA (of Wu-Tang Clan) and Iggy Pop do their best to act in scenes that are hampered by poor conception and execution.
The first scene, like most of the vignettes, involves two characters who lack distinctive personalities failing to connect with each other even in the slightest way. If the film has a theme than disconnection is it, but the manner in which the characters fail to connect is humorless, obvious, and lazy. The worst revolves around two men with French accents wherein the one man consistently asks "What's wrong?" To which the other man says "Nothing." There is no point, no subtext, nothing rich or dense to enliven the scene. Another awful one is a proclamation of Italian-American stereotypes. An old man and another old-ish Italian guys say "Quit f-ing smoking!" in thick Brooklyn accents. It's like a scene from The Sopranos as directed by a twelve year old.
There was one vignette that I found moderately amusing involving Alfred Molina and Steve Coogan. Molina, like all the celebrities in the film, plays himself- as a mushy and overly earnest geneological freak who finds out that he and Steve Coogan (the actor from 24-Hour Party People) are distant cousins. Coogan, who portrays himself as caddish and egotistical finds himself freaked out by Molina's suggestions that they vacation together, and only becomes interested in Molina after he finds out that he and Spike Jonze (who he deems cool) are friends. The scene is intelligent because Molina and Coogan both play imperfect men who fail to get what they want from each other. Coogan also gives a wonderful performance full of a posh, snarly kind of charisma.
The other scene that I liked involves Iggy Pop and Tom Waits. Waits depicts himself as a total passive-aggressive jerk while Iggy Pop is goofy and eager-to-please. This scene involves the best (and pretty much the only) good line in the film. After Iggy Pop says as an aside "I didn't see your records in the jukebox," Waits responds with hostility: "Well we could always go to Taco Bell..." My favorite line is then, when Iggy, astounded says, "What, are you saying that I'm a Taco Bell kind of guy?!!!" Iggy Pop's delivery is hilarious. Still, the bad in this film overwhelmingly outweigh the good. I do not recommend. ...more info
Attention Jim Jarmusch: Dear Sir:
I write this merely to help you. Please understand that it is not my intention to undermine your artistic vision. That said, Coffee and Cigarettes is AWFUL. It is not post-modern and hip, it is just boring. The "coolness" value of the actual individuals having conversations is dwarfed by the absolute inanity of the conversations themselves, and the cinematography is shot in the flattest, most personality-free style I have ever experienced.
I know you have worked with some very interesting people over the years, and it's great that you got them to work with you on this project, but in the future please stick at least in some small way to cinematic conventions such as plot so that you can showcase the real talents of your actors, cinematographers, editors, and key grips....more info