Last Cigarette

The Last Cigarette

Director: Frank Keraudren, Kevin Rafferty

Cast: Frank Keraudren, Kevin Rafferty

     
 
Since everyone knows that smoking isn't good for you, why do so many people smoke? That's one of the questions posed in this documentary that looks at the role of the cigarette in our culture and how tobacco has become so important in the American mindset. Footage of 1994 congressional hearings, in which tobacco industry representatives attempt to defend their actions

Overview

Since everyone knows that smoking isn't good for you, why do so many people smoke? That's one of the questions posed in this documentary that looks at the role of the cigarette in our culture and how tobacco has become so important in the American mindset. Footage of 1994 congressional hearings, in which tobacco industry representatives attempt to defend their actions and their product, are interspersed with clips from vintage Hollywood films, in which the likes of John Wayne, Bette Davis, and Burt Lancaster enjoy a smoke with no small enthusiasm, and television commercials from the 1950s and 1960s, in which the "smooth," "clean," "fresh" tastes of various cigarettes are praised. The film also includes excerpts from a "smoking porn" video (in which sexy but clothed women smoke and talk about how much cigarettes turn them on) and less amusing footage of nicotine experiments performed on laboratory animals. The Last Cigarette was compiled and directed by Kevin Rafferty and Frank Keraudren; Rafferty previously helped assemble the A-bomb compilation documentary, The Atomic Cafe.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Like his earlier The Atomic Café, Kevin Rafferty's The Last Cigarette makes extensive use of existing footage -- from Congressional hearings, Hollywood movies, television commercials and propaganda films -- to tell its story. However, unlike Cafe, Cigarette's story is not so clearcut. Pro- or anti-smoking partisans may disagree, and may see Cigarette as either supporting or attacking their camp, but looked at objectively, it's harder to identify which side the filmmaker is on -- which is his point. By using excerpted and abbreviated (and therefore manipulated) C-SPAN footage of the 1994 hearings into the tobacco industry, Rafferty manages to paint both the tobacco industry and the Congressmen holding the hearings as opportunistic and self-serving. (He also lets the viewer see flashes of occasional sincerity and depth.) As a result, Rep. Henry Waxman's grandstanding bullying is as offputting as tobacco's James Johnston's carefully-rehearsed evasions. Contrasting all of this with blatantly manipulative commercials, messages and television news reports, Rafferty paints a picture of a culture which is so media-influenced that serious discussion of smoking and the issues related to it is practically impossible. All of this is done with postmodern tongue planted firmly in ironic cheek, of course, and there are some unforgettable moments, including a foreign commercial connecting smoking to impotence, a cigarette-hating dog, and the truly bizarre concept of erotic "smoke-ploitation" films. Cigarette goes on a bit too long, but it does provide the viewer with a lot to think about.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/25/2007
UPC:
0717119719746
Original Release:
1999
Rating:
NR
Source:
New Yorker Video
Presentation:
[B&W]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital Stereo]
Time:
1:22:00

Special Features

Theatrical trailer; Scene selections

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Last Cigarette
1. A Civilized Man [:00]
2. Opening Credits [:00]
3. An Historic Hearing [:00]
4. In Your Paradise [:00]
5. Back Door Prohibition [:00]
6. The First One [:00]
7. Twinkies [:01]
8. Flavor Comes Clean [:00]
9. Is Nicotine Addictive? [:00]
10. Marlboro Man [:00]
11. Definition of Addiction [1:35]
12. Withdrawal [3:12]
13. Enjoyment [1:20]
14. The Stimulating Action [1:08]
15. One Drop [1:48]
16. In Tobacco Land [2:37]
17. A Free Society [2:48]
18. This is the Life [1:46]
19. The Smoking Neighbor [1:50]
20. A Lot to Offer [2:55]
21. Where Are You Now? [1:26]
22. At Joe's Place [2:58]
23. What Brand? [4:44]
24. Replenishing [3:55]
25. Contraband [3:45]
26. Another Face [2:20]
27. Yes or No? [3:35]
28. A Real Surprise [5:13]

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