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Smoke  [Blu-ray]
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During an extended period of writer's block, Brooklyn-based author Paul Benjamin (William Hurt) begins to spend more and more time hanging about his local cigar store. Its owner, Auggie Wren (Harvey Keitel), has more than a few tales of his own, as does a young man, Rashid (Harold Perrineau), who makes an unexpected entrance into the writer's life. Whilst Benjamin attempts to rediscover creative inspiration, Rashid embarks on a journey to find his real father. Award-winning author Paul Auster wrote the script, expanding upon one of his own short stories.
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Another quietly clever scene for me is near the end in a deli, as Augie tells his friend a story made up of random
incidents from the film. The story lasts several minutes and there are no cuts. The camera just moves slowly
into Keitel's face until, finally he laughs. Delightful.
The story addresses what it is to be a father, how to atone for misdeeds and friendship among other things. But absolutely everything is given the lightest of touches. I love this film.
This film won't appeal to all, but if you like your American films to come with a little less 'Crash, Bang, Whallop!' and a bit more intelligence, then you just have to buy this dvd.
"SMOKE" starring, Harvey Keitel, Forest Whitaker, William Hurt & Stockard Channing, Clarice Taylor & Harold Perrineau,Jnr.
directed by , Wayne Wang ( Joy Luck Club.)
"SMOKE" is a film that has a very rich story, in fact there are several stories, even a Christmas story, in "SMOKE". It happens in Brooklyn sometime before the 9 - 11 tragedy a time that is fragile and about to disappear like smoke. The story happens around the little world close to a corner cigar shop. One of the themes of the various stories is the precious fragile nature of the friendships that are possible between black people and white in the inner-city. This story almost could have happened in my own London neighbourhood of Hackney, England, except that Cuban cigars have never been illegal here; otherwise, you would find all of these characters in the community where I live.
Hackney's last cigar shop closed down shortly after this film was made. Now there is barely a trace that it ever existed; vanished like smoke ! Will that happen to all of our relationships and community ? The film poses answers as well as questions.
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