Coffee and Cigarettes (2003)

Directed By – Jim Jarmusch

Screenplay By – Jim Jarmusch

Cinematography By – Tom DiCillo, Frederick Elmes, Ellen Kuras, & Robby Müller

Starring Steve Buscemi, Iggy Pop, Tom Waits, Cate Blanchett, Jack White, Meg White, Alfred Molina, Steve Coogan, The GZA, RZA, & Bill Murray

95 min.

Well well well, what to say about Coffee and Cigarettes. For any viewer who has never seen a Jim Jarmusch movie, I wouldn’t suggest this a first film into the Jarmoosh world. The idea of this film is great, a series of conversational vignettes set around drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes. Like all Jarmusch films this one challenges the standard American movie format, and I would say with a good amount of success.

I did find it unusual as to how often in this movie Jarmusch decided to have the actors play themselves in their specific scene (i.e. Iggy Pop as Iggy Pop and Alfred Molina as Alfred Molina, etc.) Of course these actors were just playing characterizations of themselves, but the frequency of this technique was surprising as I found that the movie got less and less interesting as the vignettes continued to use this characterization technique. Needless to say, this is a Jarmusch movie so all the interactions were in fact intriguing with all different flows of conversation woven into each scene and relationship, with moments of brilliant acting mixed in with novice actors.

I was also slightly surprised that he chose to shoot in black and white for every vignette. Because he was doing so many I thought he would switch it up and play around with color but I am also not too surprised because it is Jarmusch I’m talking about. It was also such a quiet film which always slows down the pace.

Don’t watch this as your first Jarmusch movie but it is worth a view if you are experience with the director.

Bill Murray is fucking hilarious, but know that he is in only one vignette.


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