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Smoke (1995)

Director:
Wayne Wang
COUNTRY
USA
Genre
Drama
NORWEGIAN TITLE
Smoke
RUNNING TIME
112 minutes
Producers:
Greg Johnson
Peter Newman
Hisami Kuroiwa
Kenzo Horikoshi
Screenwriter:
Paul Auster


Cast includes:

CHARACTER ACTOR/ACTRESS RATING
Paul Benjamin William Hurt
Auggie Wren Harvey Keitel
Ruby McNutt Stockard Channing
Cyrus Cole Forest Whitaker
Rashid Cole Harold Perrineau
1st OTB Man/Tommy Giancarlo Esposito
Felicity Ashley Judd

 

Review

This little gem of a film was a sleeper hit in Europe, perhaps because of its unamerican qualites: the film is so unremarkable and ostensibly uneventul that it seems to be making a statement. Written by New York success author Paul Auster and directed by Wayne Wang, Smoke is like Seinfeld without the absurdities; a film about regular New Yorkers living their lives from day to day and year to year. Auster celebrates the regularity and perseverance of life. Not only does he want to deglamorize life, but more importantly he wants us to notice and appreciate the sentiment of the unremarkable, such as going about your business, stop chasing, and last but not least enjoying your smoke. The latter, of course, being the symbol for our perishability. But, says Auster, it's not about how long you live, it's about how well you live. Some clever dialogue, unorthodox character relations and poignant, low-key drama crown this unmodern, modern indie-classic. Followed by Blue in the Face.

Re-reviewed: Copyright 15.01.2015 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang
Original review:
Copyright 27.02.1997 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang