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Coffee and Cigarettes

Year: 2003
Production Co: Smokescreen Inc
Director: Jim Jarmusch
Writer: Jim Jarmusch
Cast: Bill Murray , GZA, RZA, Steve Coogan, Alfred Molina, Jack White, Meg White, Steve Buscemi, Iggy Pop, Tom Waits, Roberto Begnini, Steve Wright, Cate Blanchett
Despite there being no story as such, this may be the purest form of cinema as a medium for actors and directors to ply their craft.

Split into segments filmed over the course of many years, they all involve two or more people meeting over coffee and cigarettes with all manner of mistrust, paranoia, subterfuge and icy resentment simmering under the surface of each one to varying degrees.

Jarmusch takes this brilliantly simple premise and uses it as a platform to showcase some of the best acting you'll ever see in a movie. Just watch the mannerisms and nuances of Steve Coogan and Alfred Molina, how the tone of the conversation and balance of power shifts with the slightest, almost imperceptible gesture or quiet word.

Many segments are comical, some are brilliant, none have a point, and while it could be called pretentious, it's cinema verite in the truest sense and essential viewing for any student of the filmmaking craft.

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