“Coffee and Cigarettes”

Yesterday I diverged from my usual choice for cinematic entertainment venue , and saw Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind at the Loews Cineplex in Santa Monica. Despite loving the film, I left reminded how darn awful typical chain movie theaters are. From the horribly unclean bathrooms that seem to be the breeding ground of new lifeforms, the uncomfortably cramped seats sponsored by Al Quaida’s movement of terror via thrombosis, and the inability of the projectionist to keep the picture center, the movie experience away from the Arclight Cinema (or the charming Vista, Egyptian and El Capitan) is almost always a disappointment. Fortunately the film kept me entranced and from noting any further crimes against cinema.

Speaking of the Arclight, on April 19th, one of my favourite filmmakers is coming out to do a special engagement Q&A/screening with the director himself. AFI is hosting Jim Jarmusch’s “Coffee an Cigarettes”, “a series of short films disguised as a feature (or maybe vice versa).† Each sequence involves several characters just sitting around, drinking coffee, smoking cigarettes and discussing subjects as diverse as caffeine popsicles, Abbott & Costello, Elvis conspiracy theories, the proper preparation of English tea, the inventions of Nikola Tesla, the fictitious rock band SQ‹RL, Paris in the twenties, and the use of nicotine as an insecticide.† The cast is an extremely eclectic group of extraordinary actors and musicians portraying an equally eclectic collection of oddballs, with sequences strikingly photographed in black (coffee) and white (cigarettes) by Frederick Elmes, Robby M¸ller, Ellen Kuras and Tom DiCillo.î The cast includes Roberto Benigni, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett, RZA, Steve Buscemi, Iggy Pop, Tom Waits, and Alfred Molina. The oddly coifed auteur will be there afterwards to drop knowledge on your ass.