Blue in the Face
Blue in the Face ★★½ 1995 (R)
Wang and Auster's immediate follow-up to “Smoke,” shot in five days, recycles the same Brooklyn cigar shop setting and contains a dozen fast-paced, loosely scripted or wholly improvised scenes that they couldn't cram into “Smoke,” led by Reed's deadpan riff on eyewear, New York, and smoking. The action again centers around Auggie (Keitel), the shop manager, who hangs out with the mostly eccentric, and sometimes famous clientele. Jarmusch idly waxes philosophic on smoking technique, while puffing on what he claims is his last. Scenes are woven together with videotaped interviews from actual Brooklyn residents, creating a tribute to life in the borough with a documentary feel. Improv lovers will enjoy watching what sometimes seems more like outtakes than finished performances. 83m/C VHS, DVD . Harvey Keitel, Lou Reed, Michael J. Fox, Roseanne, Jim Jarmusch, Lily Tomlin, Mel Gor-ham, Jared Harris, Giancarlo Esposito, Victor Argo, Madonna, Keith David, Mira Sorvino, Malik Yoba, Michael Badalucco, Jose Zuniga, Stephen Gevedon, John Lurie, Sharif Rashed, RuPaul Charles; D: Wayne Wang, Paul Auster; W: Wayne Wang, Paul Auster.