Coffee and Cigarettes DVD 2003 / Directed by Jim Jarmusch / Starring: Roberto Benigni, Steven Wright, Joie Lee, Cinqué Lee, Steve Buscemi, Iggy Pop, Tom Waits / French release DVD

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Coffee and Cigarettes DVD 2002 / Directed by Jim Jarmusch / Starring: Roberto Benigni, Steven Wright, Joie Lee, Cinqué Lee, Steve Buscemi, Iggy Pop, Tom Waits

UPC 5413356682908




SUBTITLES: French, Dutch

TOTAL RUNTIME: 96 minutes


English Summary:

Coffee and Cigarettes is the title of three short films and a 2003 anthology film by independent film director Jim Jarmusch. The film consists of 11 short stories which share coffee and cigarettes as a common thread, and includes the earlier three short films. 

Now here is a movie that's practically perfect for DVD. Shot over many years with eccentric actors, Jim Jarmusch's collection of black-and-white vignettes is as uneven as a collection of music videos (without songs). Even with the dull spots and the drop-dead-hip ambiance, there's something touching about this parade of frazzled people holding on to their coffee and cigarettes like life rafts--especially in the final sequence with Taylor Mead. There are some severely misconceived pieces, but the best are a treat: Alfred Molina and Steve Coogan in a hilarious Hollywood encounter, Tom Waits and Iggy Pop getting off on the wrong foot in a funky diner, and Cate Blanchett doing a dual role as herself and a jealous cousin. Bill Murray can't save one underwritten piece, but Jack and Meg White are amusing in an absurdist blackout. Use the Scene Selection menu, and revel in the fetishizing of java and butts. --Robert Horton


French Summary:

Les interlocuteurs discutent de sujets aussi variés que la caféine, les glaces à l'eau, Abbott et Costello, les théories du complot contre Elvis Presley, l'art de préparer le thé anglais, les inventions de Nikola Tesla, le groupe rock imaginaire Sqürl, le Paris des années 1920 ou l'utilisation de la nicotine comme insecticide.


Plot segments

The eleven segments that make up the film are as follows:

Strange to Meet You

This is the original 1986 short Coffee and Cigarettes with Roberto Benigni and Steven Wright having a conversation about coffee and cigarettes. Steven tells Roberto about his coffee ideas, such as freezing it into "caffeine Popsicles" for kids, and how he likes to drink coffee right before he goes to sleep so he can dream faster "like a camera on those Indy 500 cars". Roberto does not understand anything he says but is entertained to listen. They experiment with switching chairs, but decide to switch back again. Steven suddenly remembers he has a dentist appointment that he is afraid to go to, but has to. Roberto happily volunteers and goes instead of him.


Originally the 1989 short Coffee and Cigarettes, Memphis Version – aka Coffee and Cigarettes II – this segment features Joie Lee and Cinqué Lee as the titular twins and Steve Buscemi as the waiter who expounds on his theory on Elvis Presley's evil twin. Cinqué Lee also appears in "Jack Shows Meg his Tesla Coil". The scene also features a recounting of the urban legend that Elvis Presley made racist comments about African Americans during a magazine interview.[citation needed]

Somewhere in California

Filmed in 1993 as the short Coffee and Cigarettes - Somewhere in California, and won the Short Film Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival.[2] In this segment musicians Iggy Pop and Tom Waits smoke cigarettes to celebrate that they quit smoking, drink some coffee and make awkward conversation.

Those Things'll Kill Ya

Joseph Rigano and Vinny Vella have a conversation over coffee about the dangers of smoking. The silent Vinny Vella Jr. also appears to beg his father for money, which is given in exchange for affection, which is not provided.


Renée French (played by herself) drinks coffee while looking through a gun magazine. E. J. Rodríguez plays the waiter, who is eager to be of service. He initially approaches her to serve more coffee, to which she reacts by saying "I had the right color, right temperature, it was just right". After that, he comes back several times, hesitates, and leaves. He seems intent on striking up a conversation with her.

No Problem

Alex Descas and Isaach De Bankolé are a couple of friends who meet and talk over some coffee and cigarettes. Alex has no problems, or so he answers to Isaach's repeated questioning. At the end of the scene, Alex takes out a pair of dice and rolls three sets of doubles. It could be assumed that he has a gambling problem but to him it appears to be a non-issue. Despite this, he doesn't roll the dice in front of his friend.


Cate Blanchett plays herself and a fictional and non-famous cousin named Shelly, whom she meets over some coffee in the lounge of a hotel. There is no smoking in the lounge, as the waiter informs Shelly (but not until Cate is gone). Shelly tells Cate about her boyfriend, Lee, who is in a band. She describes the music style as hard industrial, similar to the band Iggy describes. Cate tells Shelly she looks forward to meeting "Lou" someday. Cate is made to feel awkward and uncomfortable by Shelly's constant envious remarks about how she perceives Cate's life and attitude.

Jack Shows Meg His Tesla Coil

Features Jack and Meg White of the band The White Stripes having some coffee and cigarettes. They play themselves, although the scene seems to perpetuate the band's former pretense that they are indeed siblings. Jack shows Meg his Tesla coil that he says he built himself and waxes intellectual on the achievements of Nikola Tesla. In the beginning, Jack seems upset that Meg doesn't share his excitement, and it takes Meg some coaxing to get Jack to agree to show Meg his Tesla coil. He introduces the line, "Nikola Tesla perceived the earth to be a conductor of acoustical resonance." Cinqué Lee plays a waiter in this segment. In the end, the coil breaks, and Meg and the Waiter offer suggestions as to why it might be broken. Finally Meg says something that Jack seems to agree to, and he leaves to "go home and check it out". Meg clinks her coffee cup to produce a ringing noise, pauses, says "Earth as a conductor of acoustical resonance" and clinks her coffee cup to produce the noise again; she looks pensively out into the distance before a cut to black. Early during the segment, "Down on the Street" by The Stooges is played in the background.


British actors Alfred Molina and Steve Coogan have a conversation over some tea. (Coogan offers Molina a French cigarette, but Molina saves his for later.) Molina is a very enthusiastic fan of Coogan's, who contrarily is very uninterested at their meeting and barely manages to hide this. Molina excitedly shares with him research he came across, learning that they are distant cousins, and proposes a friendship or show business project to capitalize on this. Steve Coogan still remains evasive, lightening up only when an attractive female fan recognizes him. He later tries to make up excuses to keep from ever having to hear from Alfred Molina again, and then clumsily tries to reverse this when he overhears Molina get a call from good friend Spike Jonze. But it is too late and Molina, disappointed, leaves Coogan with the bill. Although the scene is set in LA, the segment was actually shot in Brooklyn at Galapagos, Williamsburg.


Hip-hop artists (and cousins) GZA and RZA of the Wu-Tang Clan drink naturally caffeine-free herbal tea and have a conversation with the waiter, Bill Murray, about the dangers of caffeine and nicotine. During this conversation GZA makes a reference to how he would drink much coffee before going to bed so his dreams would "whip by" similar to the camera-shots at the Indy 500, very similar to the same reference that Steven Wright did in the first segment. Murray requests that GZA and RZA keep his identity secret, while GZA and RZA inform Murray about nontraditional methods to relieve his smoker's hack.


William "Bill" Rice and Taylor Mead spend their coffee break having a nostalgic conversation, whilst Janet Baker singing "Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen" from Mahler's Rückert-Lieder appears from nowhere. William Rice repeats Jack White's line, "Nikola Tesla perceived the earth as a conductor of acoustical resonance." It is possible to interpret the relevance of this line to the constant recurrent themes throughout the seemingly unconnected segments.


Directed by Jim Jarmusch
Produced by
  • Jason Kliot
  • Rudd Simmons
  • Jim Stark
  • Birgit Staudt
  • Joana Vicente
Written by Jim Jarmusch
  • Roberto Benigni
  • Steven Wright
  • Joie Lee
  • Cinqué Lee
  • Steve Buscemi
  • Iggy Pop
  • Tom Waits
  • Joseph Rigano
  • Vinny Vella
  • Vinny Vella Jr.
  • Renée French
  • E.J. Rodriguez
  • Alex Descas
  • Isaach De Bankolé
  • Cate Blanchett
  • Meg White
  • Jack White
  • Alfred Molina
  • Steve Coogan
  • GZA
  • RZA
  • Bill Murray
  • William Rice
  • Taylor Mead
  • Frederick Elmes ASC
  • Ellen Kuras ASC
  • Robby Müller
  • Tom Dicillo
Edited by
  • Jay Rabinowitz ACE
  • Melody London
  • Terry Kats
  • Jim Jarmusch
United Artists
Distributed by MGM Distribution Co.
Release date
  • September 5, 2003 (Venice)
  • May 14, 2004 (United States)
Running time
96 minutes
Country USA, Japan, Italy
Language English


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