Coffee and Cigarettes is the title of three short films and a 2007 feature film directed by independent director Jim Jarmusch. The film consists of 11 short stories which share coffee and cigarettes as a common thread, and includes the earlier three films.
- Directed by: Jim Jarmusch
- Produced by: Jason Kliot, Rudd Simmons, Jim Stark, Birgit Staudt, Joana Vicente
- Written by: Jim Jarmusch
- Starring: Roberto Benigni, Steven Wright, Steve Buscemi, Iggy Pop, Tom Waits
- Country: United States, Japan, Italy
- Language: English, French
- Running time: 95 minutes
- Budget: N/A
- Box Office: $8 million
- Release dates: 2003
- Distributed by: United Artists
Plot segments Edit
The eleven segments that the film are as follows:
Strange to Meet You: Edit
This is the original 1986 short Coffee and Cigarettes with Roberto Benigni and Steven Wright having a conversation about coffee and cigarettes.
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. Cinqué Lee also appears in "Jack Shows Meg his Tesla Coil". The scene also features a recounting of the urban legend that Elvis Presley made racist comments about Blacks during a magazine interview.
Somewhere in California: Edit
Filmed in 1993 as the short Coffee and Cigarettes - Somewhere 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.
Those Things'll Kill Ya: Edit
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 , which is given in exchange for affection, which is not provided.
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 a conversation with her.
No Problem: Edit
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 Alex Descas has an excessive gambling problem but to him it is not a problem because of what he can roll. Notice he doesn't roll the dice in front of his friend.
Cate Blanchett plays herself and a fictional and non-famous cousin of her named Shelly.
Cate meets Shelly over some coffee in the lounge of the hotel Cate is staying. There is no smoking in the lounge, as the waiter informs Shelly (but not until Cate is gone), but she smokes anyway and offers Cate a cigarette.
Cate seems self-conscious and restrained while Shelly seems coarse and gaudy. During the coversation 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.
Shelly seems to be hassled and annoyed by Cate, so she behaves icy and defensive towards her.
At one point Shelly confronts Cate about her not having time to even notice her avatars in life, and the conversation becomes awkward betwen the two.
However, the end up in good terms after Cate gets a call and has to go for a press conference. Cate tells Shelly she looks forward to meeting "Lou" someday.
Jack Shows Meg His Tesla Coil: Edit
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. In the end, the coil breaks, and Meg and the Waiter offer suggestions as to why it might be broken. Finally Meg says something that Jack seems to agree to, and he leaves to "go home and check it out". Meg clinks her coffee cup to produce a ringing noise, pauses, says "Earth is a conductor of acoustical resonance" and clinks her coffee cup to produce the noise again; she looks pensively out into the distance before a cut to black. Early during the segment, "Down on the Street" by The Stooges is played in the background.
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. He later tries to make up excuses to keep from ever having to hear from Alfred Molina again, and then clumsily tries to reverse this when he overhears Molina get a call from good friend Spike Jonze. But it is too late and Molina, disappointed, leaves Coogan with the bill. Although the scene is set in LA, the segment was actually shot in Brooklyn at Galapagos, Williamsburg.
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 lots of 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. Murray requests that GZA and RZA keep his identity secret, while GZA and RZA inform Murray about nontraditional methods to relieve his smoker's hack.
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.
- Roberto Beningni - Himself
- Steven Wright - Himself
- Steve Buscemi - Waiter
- Iggy Pop - Himself
- Tom Waits - Himself
- Joseph Rigano - Hilmself
-Cate Blanchett - Herself and Shelly
- Vinny Vella - HImself
- Renée French - Herself
- Alex Descas - Himself
Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes has a 65% 'fresh' rating for the film based on 122 reviews, with the critical consensus: "Episodes vary in quality, but overall this talky film is quirkily engaging."
Cannes Film Festival:
- Short Film Palme d'Or (Coffee and Cigarettes: Somewhere in California)