• Post category:Movies
  • Post last modified:August 14, 2017

Smoke

FIVE STRANGERS. FOUR SECRETS. THREE SCHEMES. TWO BEST FRIENDS. AND ONE NEIGHBORHOOD HANGOUT WHERE THE WORLD STILL MAKES SENSE. 

Watching this movie is like immersing oneself into a Paul Auster novel; he wrote this collection of stories that revolve around a Brooklyn tobacco store managed by Harvey Keitel, and worked very closely with Wayne Wang. We’re introduced to several characters, including a writer (William Hurt) who lost his wife in an accident, and a black kid (Harold Perrineau, Jr.) whom he strikes up a chord with. Themes concern parenthood, broken relationships and the art of storytelling (such as the last sequence, a Christmas tale, where Keitel is absolutely spellbinding). Very easy to get drawn into these people’s lives; great performances and delicately handled.

1995-U.S. 112 min. Color. Produced by¬†Greg Johnson, Kenzo Horikoshi, Hisami Kuroiwa, Peter Newman. Directed by¬†Wayne Wang. Screenplay: Paul Auster. Cast: William Hurt (Paul Benjamin), Harvey Keitel (Augustus Wren), Stockard Channing (Ruby McNutt), Harold Perrineau, Jr, Forest Whitaker, Victor Argo… Giancarlo Esposito, Ashley Judd.

Trivia: Followed by Blue in the Face (1995).

Berlin: Special Jury Prize.

Last word: “I remember that the day before ‘Joy Luck Club’ was even released, Harvey Weinstein started calling me, and that’s when I took a script that I was working on with Paul Auster for three years by that time, and I said, ‘Well, this is the one I really want to make, Harvey; would you make it?’ And he said, ‘Yes.’ And that was ‘Smoke’. […] It]¬†was actually very low budget also, because, again, on the page it was a very wordy script, and no apparent signs of how it would make any money at all. I don’t know why I go for those.” (Wang, IGN)

 

IMDb

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