Blue in the Face

Blue in the Face

Director: Paul Auster, Wayne Wang

Cast: Harvey Keitel, Lou Reed

     
 

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Director Wayne Wang and screenwriter Paul Auster had enough storylines and characters left over from their charming comedy Smoke to make another film, so they shot Blue In The Face immediately after Smoke was completed. The film once again centers on the Brooklyn Cigar Store and manager Auggie (Harvey Keitel), although most of the other charactersSee more details below

Overview

Director Wayne Wang and screenwriter Paul Auster had enough storylines and characters left over from their charming comedy Smoke to make another film, so they shot Blue In The Face immediately after Smoke was completed. The film once again centers on the Brooklyn Cigar Store and manager Auggie (Harvey Keitel), although most of the other characters are different. The store owner's frustrated wife Dot (Roseanne) is one of them, and one of the plotlines follows her attempts to seduce Auggie. Madonna, Michael J. Fox, Lily Tomlin, and Lou Reed (as himself) also put in appearances. Blue In The Face was shot without a complete script and presents a unique combination of distinctive performances, oddball characters, improvisations, and raffish scenes.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Scott Engel
Shot in five days and with only an outline to follow, Blue in the Face offers many surprises. After falling in love with the idea of Brooklyn, NY, as Anytown, USA, on steroids and uppers, Wayne Wang and Paul Auster convinced the brothers Weinstein of Miramax to give some cash and marketing muscle to a faux documentary on a week in the life of a cigar shop in Park Slope. They also enlisted some of the most famous figurers of the New York underground hip gone big (Lou Reed, Jim Jarmusch, Giancarlo Esposito, Madonna) to ham it up for the camera. Far lighter and much more fun than Smoke, Blue in the Face is not concerned with story or plot as much as it is with characters, of which the film and Brooklyn have no shortage. Jim Jarmusch and Harvey Keitel have a natural ease with each other as they discuss the power of a cigarette. Michael J. Fox has his funniest moment on the big screen as a colorful local with a clipboard, and Lou Reed is hysterical as he explains in his trademark deadpan why he feels comfortable in New York and how he plans to market sunglasses. Some of the real-life folks included in the film are just as compelling, like The Bag Man who feels it's his duty to vacate all plastic bags from tree branches in which they become entangled, and a Coney Island Girl who knows she has to get out of Brooklyn but isn't sure why. The film is a touch overly sentimental about the Dodgers (time to get over it people), and the final production number with RuPaul tries too hard. But as any resident with a 718 area code will tell you, it's refreshing to see a film nail down life in the outer boroughs without resorting to clichés and stereotypes.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/04/2003
UPC:
0786936204025
Original Release:
1995
Rating:
R
Source:
Miramax
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital Surround]
Time:
1:23:00

Special Features

Closed Caption; A Conversation With Lou Reed: Living in New York, The Lower East Side, Getting Around the City, Going to the Movies, Play All; OTB Boys outtakes: "The McInudo Lady," "My Brother Chuck," John Lurie's Band Plays at the Smoke Shop, Mo Greengrass Magic Tricks; Feature commentary with director Wayne Wang, screenwriter Paul Auster, producers Peter Newman and Greg Johnson, and actor Harvey Keitel; Dolby Digital Surround Sound; French language track; Widescreen (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 televisions

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Harvey Keitel Auggie Wren
Lou Reed Man with Strange Glasses
Roseanne Cigar Store Owner's Wife
Michael Fox Peter
Jim Jarmusch Bob
Lily Tomlin The waffle eater
Mel Gorham Violet
Jared Harris Jimmy Rose
Giancarlo Esposito Tommy
Victor Argo Vinnie
Madonna Singing Telegram Girl
Keith David Jackie Robinson
Mira Sorvino The young lady
RuPaul Dancer
Malik Yoba The Watch Man
José Zuñiga Jerry
Michael Badalucco Statistician
Michelle Hurst Statistician
Ahmed Ben Larby Statistician
William Preston Statistician
James Dickson Dancer
Esteban Fernandez Dancer
Eileen Galindo Dancer
Lisa Scarola Dancer
Robert Jackson Brooklyn Resident
Robert Jackson Brooklyn Resident
Sharif Rashed Actor
Peggy Gormley Actor
Chelsea Altman Statistician
Teodorino Bello Statistician
Chief Bey Brooklyn Resident
Diana Brownstone Dancer
Billy Cherry Statistician
Liz Anne Curtis Dancer
Rehanna Ellis Statistician/Dancer
Ian Frazier Brooklyn Resident
Sasalina Gambino Brooklyn Resident
Stephen Gevedon Actor
Cotton Green Dancer
Tatienne Hendricks-Tellefsen Actor
Edmund Ikeda Statistician
John Lurie National Orchestra Actor
Rusty Kanokoci Brooklyn Resident
Nick Kosovich Dancer
Charles LaSalle Dancer
Kyle Larson Dancer
Gregory Misclagno Dancer
Liz Ramos Dancer
Raymond Rodriguez Dancer
Luc Sante Brooklyn Resident
Dale Stotts Dancer
Ginger Thatcher Dancer
Debra Wilson Statistician

Technical Credits
Paul Auster Director,Screenwriter
Wayne Wang Director,Screenwriter
Claudia Brown Costumes/Costume Designer
Adam Holender Cinematographer
Maysie Hoy Editor
John Hurst Musical Direction/Supervision
Kalina Ivanov Production Designer
Greg Johnson Producer
Harvey Keitel Producer
Drew Kunin Sound/Sound Designer
Hisami Kuriowa Co-producer
Hisami Kuroiwa Co-producer
Heidi Levitt Casting
John Lurie Score Composer
Mary Beth Mann Asst. Director
Peter Newman Producer
Todd Pfeiffer Asst. Director
Diana Phillips Producer
Linda Talcott Choreography
Christopher Tellefsen Editor
Harvey Wang Cinematographer
Bob Weinstein Producer
Harvey Weinstein Producer

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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Opening Credits: You Are Here [6:30]
2. In Brooklyn [2:10]
3. Brooklyn Attitude [4:45]
4. Brooklyn Girls [7:07]
5. Bob's Last Smoke [3:58]
6. Diversity in Brooklyn [6:48]
7. Butts and Punks [3:47]
8. Patent Pending [6:50]
9. Dollars and Sense [7:25]
10. "It's Toasted" [5:19]
11. Listen to Me [8:29]
12. Once More With Feeling [2:35]
13. Party in the Streets [2:29]
14. A Year Later [1:45]
15. End Credits [6:50]

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