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Smoke

Year: 1995
Studio: Miramax
Director: Wayne Wang
Producer: Paul Auster
Writer: Paul Auster
Cast: Harvey Keitel, William Hurt, Forest Whitaker, Harrold Pirreneau Jnr, Stockard Channing, Ashley Judd
Very much a character piece, and also the quintessential Wayne Wang movie. Summing up the charm and lifestyle of Brooklyn with a European sensibility, it tells the story of several lives that revolve around a corner smoke shop in a New York neighbourhood, including owner Auggie (Keitel), his former lover Ruby (Channing) reclusive writer Paul (Hurt), the young man he takes in, (a young and fresh looking Pirreneau Jnr), and his estranged father (Whitaker).

With an episodic storyline (punctuated by titles that almost denote a new chapter for each character), it shows the lives, loves, struggles and laughter of a bunch of everyday schmos with an interesting mix of almost documentary style, humility, dignity and love. Not as much point as there is just a glimpse into other people's lives, it shows some standout talents at the top of their game.

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