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Coffee and Cigarettes

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The worst thing about Coffee and Cigarettes is its intrinsic hipster pander -- the assumption we'll start chuckling three seconds into any given one of 11 Jim Jarmusch vignettes, shot over a 17-year period, depicting Jarmuschified versions of Tom Waits meeting Iggy Pop, Jack and Meg White admiring Jack's Tesla coil, or Bill Murray deadpanning with the RZA and the GZA. But ultimately, in-jokiness subtracts less than is added by either the sublime calibrations of the film's black-and-white photography or its still-life appreciations of the inscrutable appeal of café tables littered with coffee cups, spoons and ashtrays. And that doesn't even account for Cate Blanchett's dual-role tour de force; Alfred Molina's brilliant turn as a starstruck Alfred Molina; the unarticulated warmth of two old friends talking about "nothing"; and Jarmusch's preternaturally relaxed comic timing. Hip, yes, but beyond hipness too, often into genuine emotion. 3 cameras

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