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Friday, November 17, 2006

Coffee and Cigarettes

Thanks to Ann Althouse for the nudge to track down this charming and eccentric movie on DVD, Coffee and Cigarettes. How did I miss this? It's a series of black-and-white vignettes with wonderful actors in groups of two, sometimes three, just talking over coffee and cigarettes, the common thread. Roberto Benigni and Steven Wright lead off in a perfectly timed and utterly silly encounter, and the film ends on an existential note with Bill Rice and Taylor Mead playing Beckett-like characters in a gloomy unspecified location. Cate Blanchette is phenomenal playing dual roles as herself and a star-struck cousin, and there's another favorite scene with Alfred Molina and Steve Coogan as "cousins". If there's any theme beyond the coffee and cigarettes it is the cousins, or twins thing. Otherwise there's no plot, but - who cares? Oh, and there's even an entire sketch about my new favorite physicist, Nikola Tesla. And a credit, in the end, to the "Tesla Coil Wrangler". Worth looking for.


Blogger Madison Guy said...

Talk about serendipity! Here in Madison, Wisconsin, I don't know how it is for you folks, but here in Madison the public library has free 1-week rental of older DVDs. I'm always picking up a few along with the latest stack of books, but usually I never watch any of them. (So many books, so little time, hard to fit in the videos.) Picked up "Coffee and Cigarettes" last Saturday. it's sitting on top of the TV. Now I'll watch it for sure. Thanks.

I'd always meant to see it, but didn't know about the Tesla part. Now it’s a “must see”! As a Tesla fan you might be interested in my Tesla birthday blog post awhile back. You might enjoy the book I mentioned, too.

1:00 AM  
Blogger sixty-five said...

That's a great idea about the DVD's; I'm passing it on to our own little library, though we have a system that is nearly as good or better; we are part of a 76-library system that allows searching and reserving of all materials (books, magazines, DVDs, music, etc) on-line. Nearly anything you might want is delivered to the local branch in a day or two. I have already requested the book you mentioned.

Your Tesla post is wonderful; thanks for the link!

1:17 AM  

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