Coffee and Cigarettes (2003)

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Coffee and Cigarettes
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TitleCoffee and Cigarettes
Year2003
CountryItaly, Japan, USA
GenreDrama (Movies)
CollectionDance and Music
Run Time1h 36 min
Director

The eleven segments that make up the film are as follows:

Strange to Meet You
This is the original 1986 short Coffee and Cigarettes with Roberto Benigni and Steven Wright having a conversation about coffee and cigarettes. Steven tells Roberto about his coffee ideas, such as freezing it into “caffeine Popsicles” for kids, and how he likes to drink coffee right before he goes to sleep so he can dream faster “like a camera on those Indy 500 cars”. Roberto does not understand anything he says but is entertained to listen.

Twins
Originally the 1989 short Coffee and Cigarettes, Memphis Version – aka Coffee and Cigarettes II – this segment features Joie Lee and Cinqué Lee as the titular twins and Steve Buscemi as the waiter who expounds on his theory on Elvis Presley’s evil twin. The scene also features a recounting of the urban legend that Elvis Presley made racist comments about African Americans during a magazine interview.

Somewhere in California
Filmed in 1993 as the short Coffee and CigarettesSomewhere in California, and won the Short Film Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. In this segment musicians Iggy Pop and Tom Waits smoke cigarettes to celebrate that they quit smoking, drink some coffee and make awkward conversation. At various points each musician remarks that the other is not on the jukebox, though Iggy Pop’s music can be heard on a jukebox in another segment later in the film.

Those Things’ll Kill Ya
Joseph Rigano and Vinny Vella have a conversation over coffee about the dangers of smoking. The silent Vinny Vella Jr. also appears to beg his father for money, which is given in exchange for affection, which is not provided.

Renée
Renée French (played by herself) drinks coffee while looking through a gun magazine. E. J. Rodríguez plays the waiter, who is eager to be of service. He initially approaches her to serve more coffee, to which she reacts by saying “I had the right color, right temperature, it was just right”. After that, he comes back several times, hesitates, and leaves. He seems intent on striking up a conversation with her.

No Problem
Alex Descas and Isaach De Bankolé are a couple of friends who meet and talk over some coffee and cigarettes. Alex has no problems, or so he answers to Isaach’s repeated questioning. At the end of the scene, Alex takes out a pair of dice and rolls three sets of doubles. It could be assumed that he has a gambling problem but to him it appears to be a non-issue. Despite this, he doesn’t roll the dice in front of his friend.

Cousins
Cate Blanchett plays herself and a fictional and non-famous cousin named Shelly, whom she meets over some coffee in the lounge of a hotel. There is no smoking in the lounge, as the waiter informs Shelly (but not until Cate is gone). Shelly tells Cate about her boyfriend, Lee, who is in a band. She describes the music style as hard industrial, similar to the band Iggy describes. Cate tells Shelly she looks forward to meeting “Lou” someday. Cate is made to feel awkward and uncomfortable by Shelly’s constant envious remarks about how she perceives Cate’s life and attitude.

Jack Shows Meg His Tesla Coil
Features Jack and Meg White of the band The White Stripes having some coffee and cigarettes. They play themselves, although the scene seems to perpetuate the band’s former pretense that they are indeed siblings. Jack shows Meg his Tesla coil that he says he built himself and waxes intellectual on the achievements of Nikola Tesla. In the beginning, Jack seems upset that Meg doesn’t share his excitement, and it takes Meg some coaxing to get Jack to agree to show Meg his Tesla coil. He introduces the line, “Nikola Tesla perceived the earth to be a conductor of acoustical resonance.” Cinqué Lee plays a waiter in this segment.

Cousins?
British actors Alfred Molina and Steve Coogan have a conversation over some tea. (Coogan offers Molina a French cigarette, but Molina saves his for later.) Molina is a very enthusiastic fan of Coogan’s, who contrarily is very uninterested at their meeting and barely manages to hide this. Molina excitedly shares with him research he came across, learning that they are distant cousins, and proposes a friendship or show business project to capitalize on this. Steve Coogan still remains evasive, lightening up only when an attractive female fan recognizes him.

Delirium
Hip-hop artists (and cousins) GZA and RZA of the Wu-Tang Clan drink naturally caffeine-free herbal tea and have a conversation with the waiter, Bill Murray, about the dangers of caffeine and nicotine. During this conversation GZA makes a reference to how he would drink much coffee before going to bed so his dreams would “whip by” similar to the camera-shots at the Indy 500, very similar to the same reference that Steven Wright did in the first segment.

Champagne
William “Bill” Rice and Taylor Mead spend their coffee break having a nostalgic conversation, whilst Janet Baker singing “Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen” from Mahler’s Rückert-Lieder appears from nowhere. William Rice repeats Jack White’s line, “Nikola Tesla perceived the earth as a conductor of acoustical resonance.” It is possible to interpret the relevance of this line to the constant recurrent themes throughout the seemingly unconnected segments.

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Date of download: 2015-11-11T17:22:34+00:00

Coffee and Cigarettes
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Cast:

Roberto Benigni Roberto Benigni
Roberto ('Strange to Meet You')
Steven Wright Steven Wright
Steven ('Strange to Meet You')
Joie Lee Joie Lee
Good Twin ('Twins')
Cinqué Lee Cinqué Lee
Evil Twin / Kitchen Guy ('Twins' / 'Jack Shows Meg His Tesla Coil')
Steve Buscemi Steve Buscemi
Danny ('Twins')
Iggy Pop Iggy Pop
Iggy ('Somewhere in California')
Tom Waits Tom Waits
Tom ('Somewhere in California')
Joseph Rigano Joseph Rigano
Joe ('Those Things'll Kill Ya')
Vinny Vella Vinny Vella
Vinny ('Those Things'll Kill Ya')
Renee French Renee French
Renée ('Renée')
Alex Descas Alex Descas
Alex ('No Problem')
Isaach De Bankolé Isaach De Bankolé
Isaach ('No Problem')
Cate Blanchett Cate Blanchett
Cate / Shelly ('Cousins')
Jack White Jack White
Jack ('Jack Shows Meg His Tesla Coil')
Meg White Meg White
Meg ('Jack Shows Meg His Tesla Coil')
Alfred Molina Alfred Molina
Alfred ('Cousins?')
Steve Coogan Steve Coogan
Steve ('Cousins?')
The GZA The GZA
GZA ('Delirium')
RZA RZA
RZA ('Delirium')
Bill Murray Bill Murray
Bill Murray ('Delirium')
William Rice William Rice
Bill ('Champagne')
Taylor Mead Taylor Mead
Taylor ('Champagne')

The eleven segments that make up the film are as follows:

Strange to Meet You
This is the original 1986 short Coffee and Cigarettes with Roberto Benigni and Steven Wright having a conversation about coffee and cigarettes. Steven tells Roberto about his coffee ideas, such as freezing it into “caffeine Popsicles” for kids, and how he likes to drink coffee right before he goes to sleep so he can dream faster “like a camera on those Indy 500 cars”. Roberto does not understand anything he says but is entertained to listen.

Twins
Originally the 1989 short Coffee and Cigarettes, Memphis Version – aka Coffee and Cigarettes II – this segment features Joie Lee and Cinqué Lee as the titular twins and Steve Buscemi as the waiter who expounds on his theory on Elvis Presley’s evil twin. The scene also features a recounting of the urban legend that Elvis Presley made racist comments about African Americans during a magazine interview.

Somewhere in California
Filmed in 1993 as the short Coffee and CigarettesSomewhere in California, and won the Short Film Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. In this segment musicians Iggy Pop and Tom Waits smoke cigarettes to celebrate that they quit smoking, drink some coffee and make awkward conversation. At various points each musician remarks that the other is not on the jukebox, though Iggy Pop’s music can be heard on a jukebox in another segment later in the film.

Those Things’ll Kill Ya
Joseph Rigano and Vinny Vella have a conversation over coffee about the dangers of smoking. The silent Vinny Vella Jr. also appears to beg his father for money, which is given in exchange for affection, which is not provided.

Renée
Renée French (played by herself) drinks coffee while looking through a gun magazine. E. J. Rodríguez plays the waiter, who is eager to be of service. He initially approaches her to serve more coffee, to which she reacts by saying “I had the right color, right temperature, it was just right”. After that, he comes back several times, hesitates, and leaves. He seems intent on striking up a conversation with her.

No Problem
Alex Descas and Isaach De Bankolé are a couple of friends who meet and talk over some coffee and cigarettes. Alex has no problems, or so he answers to Isaach’s repeated questioning. At the end of the scene, Alex takes out a pair of dice and rolls three sets of doubles. It could be assumed that he has a gambling problem but to him it appears to be a non-issue. Despite this, he doesn’t roll the dice in front of his friend.

Cousins
Cate Blanchett plays herself and a fictional and non-famous cousin named Shelly, whom she meets over some coffee in the lounge of a hotel. There is no smoking in the lounge, as the waiter informs Shelly (but not until Cate is gone). Shelly tells Cate about her boyfriend, Lee, who is in a band. She describes the music style as hard industrial, similar to the band Iggy describes. Cate tells Shelly she looks forward to meeting “Lou” someday. Cate is made to feel awkward and uncomfortable by Shelly’s constant envious remarks about how she perceives Cate’s life and attitude.

Jack Shows Meg His Tesla Coil
Features Jack and Meg White of the band The White Stripes having some coffee and cigarettes. They play themselves, although the scene seems to perpetuate the band’s former pretense that they are indeed siblings. Jack shows Meg his Tesla coil that he says he built himself and waxes intellectual on the achievements of Nikola Tesla. In the beginning, Jack seems upset that Meg doesn’t share his excitement, and it takes Meg some coaxing to get Jack to agree to show Meg his Tesla coil. He introduces the line, “Nikola Tesla perceived the earth to be a conductor of acoustical resonance.” Cinqué Lee plays a waiter in this segment.

Cousins?
British actors Alfred Molina and Steve Coogan have a conversation over some tea. (Coogan offers Molina a French cigarette, but Molina saves his for later.) Molina is a very enthusiastic fan of Coogan’s, who contrarily is very uninterested at their meeting and barely manages to hide this. Molina excitedly shares with him research he came across, learning that they are distant cousins, and proposes a friendship or show business project to capitalize on this. Steve Coogan still remains evasive, lightening up only when an attractive female fan recognizes him.

Delirium
Hip-hop artists (and cousins) GZA and RZA of the Wu-Tang Clan drink naturally caffeine-free herbal tea and have a conversation with the waiter, Bill Murray, about the dangers of caffeine and nicotine. During this conversation GZA makes a reference to how he would drink much coffee before going to bed so his dreams would “whip by” similar to the camera-shots at the Indy 500, very similar to the same reference that Steven Wright did in the first segment.

Champagne
William “Bill” Rice and Taylor Mead spend their coffee break having a nostalgic conversation, whilst Janet Baker singing “Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen” from Mahler’s Rückert-Lieder appears from nowhere. William Rice repeats Jack White’s line, “Nikola Tesla perceived the earth as a conductor of acoustical resonance.” It is possible to interpret the relevance of this line to the constant recurrent themes throughout the seemingly unconnected segments.

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