Blue in the Face [1995]

Genre: Comedy
This oddball sequel to Smoke is less a sequel than a free-wheeling companion piece. Filmed by Wayne Wang and Paul Auster the week after they finished Smoke, the idea was to create a wholly improvised film, using the same characters from the first and a few new ones. The challenge was to improvise scenes that would keep the characters talking and interacting for 10 minutes at a crack--the length of a magazine of film. Some of it works well, some less well, but some of it is pure gold (though there is no real story, per se). Among the highlights: Jim Jarmusch as a guy who is about to quit smoking, waxing eloquent about why he loves cigarettes; rocker Lou Reed discussing his various philosophies on life in hilarious deadpan; a few disquisitions on the joys of Brooklyn; and, if you can believe it, a love scene between Harvey Keitel and Roseanne. --Marshall Fine

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