over a 17-year period, Coffee & Cigarettes links 11 short
films together with one common bond: coffee and cigarettes. Jim Jarmusch,
the Akron, Ohio-born director of Ghost Dog: Way of the Samurai and Down
by Law, had been releasing short films in the series every few years but
this is the complete collection.
& Cigarettes (2004)
Starring: Roberto Benigni, Steven Wright,
and Bill Murray
Part of the fun is seeing who will be in the next segment and what they'll
be talking about. There's no plot development to speak of and none of
them last very long so if they meander away from your idea of interesting,
be patient, and a new one will come along in short order.
My favorite segment featured a discussion of much-maligned and misunderstood
scientist Nikolai Tesla and a demonstration of one of his devices right
in a coffee shop for no apparent reason. I won't say who did the demonstration,
but it was a pleasant surprise to see him on the big-screen.
While there's really nothing engaging going on plot-wise, there's plenty
of interesting dialogue, a few thought-provoking observations on humanity
and the simple joy of seeing some of Hollywood's bigger names stepping
out of their mainstream boundaries for a few minutes to keep you involved
in the film. To some it may feel like nothing more than an overlong student
film with some top-shelf actors, but I really enjoyed the playful mentality
behind the whole thing.
Roberto Benigni/Steven Wright segment was filmed in 1987. (Source: The
Internet Movie Database)