the fresh films reviews

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Blue in the Face (1995)

Preceded by: Smoke (1995)

Directed by:
Paul Auster
Wayne Wang

Blue in the Face

89 minutes
Produced by:
Greg Johnson
Peter Newman
Diana Phillips
Written by:
Paul Auster
Wayne Wang

Cast includes:

Auggie Wren Harvey Keitel
Vinnie Victor Argo
Tommy Finelli Giancarlo Esposito
Pete Maloney Michael J. Fox
Violet Mel Gorham
Jimmy Rose Jared Harris -
Bob Jim Jarmusch
Man with strange glasses Lou Reed
Dot Roseanne Barr -
The young lady Mira Sorvino -
The waffle eater Lily Tomlin -
The watch man Malik Yoba
Singing telegram Madonna -



Paul Auster and Wayne Wang's follow-up to their wonderful slice of life Smoke, shot more or less simultaneously with that film and released a few months later. Blue in the Face is a more loosely scripted film consisting of vignettes and interviews with some real-life locals and some familiar faces from Smoke who go in and out of character and offer their musings on life in general and Brooklyn in particular. Although the source material may have consisted of somewhat random bits and pieces, the film is expertly assembled by the directors and editor Christopher Tellefsen, and the result is a little semi-gem of everyday philosophy about urban life in the 1990s. Free-flowing conversations filled with nostalgia and various mundane topics create a seemingly authentic document from a neighbourhood in change. With marvellous cameos by Lou Reed and Jim Jarmusch.

Re-reviewed: Copyright 02.11.2022 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang
Original review: Copyright 04.08.1997 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang