After a hugely successful screening of John Carpenter’s They Live back in August, we’re very happy to be collaborating once again with Gallery at Munro House for a short series of screenings starting in October with a showing of Jim Jarmusch’s ode to coffee and cigarette’s, Coffee and Cigarettes (2003).
The They Live screening was held on the opening night of Gallery’s ‘The Eden Diaries’ exhibition, showcasing new artwork by Leeds street artist TONE, whose output has been greatly influenced by the film.
Gallery’s next exhibition, ‘How Do You Take Yours?’, pays tribute to time honoured tradition of coffee brewing. In programming a screening in conjunction with the show, we felt it only appropriate to complement coffeehouse with arthouse.
Jim Jarmusch (Only Lovers Left Alive, Ghost Dog: Way of the Samurai) has been considered a major proponent of independent cinema since the 1980s. A screenwriter, director, producer, editor and composer, his filmmaking style often goes against standard characteristics in favour of unhurried plot progression and favours character study over traditional narrative.
Coffee and Cigarettes is a prime example of his ‘vignette period’ which manifested around the early nineties. Coffee… itself actually began as a single short film produced in 1986 and it’s that film, a meeting between Oscar winning Italian director and actor Roberto Benigni (Life Is Beautiful) and cult American comedian Steve Wright (Reservoir Dogs), that becomes the first story in this 2003 feature.
The other ten stories feature a variety of conversations between various actors and musicians, playing altered versions of themselves, including British actors Steve Coogan (Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa) and Alfred Molina (Boogie Nights, Spiderman 2) discussing relocating in Los Angeles, The White Stripes toying with a Tesla coil, Cate Blanchett (Notes on a Scandal, The Aviator) meeting a distant cousin (also played by Blanchett) in an airport lounge, music legends Iggy Pop and Bill Waits enjoying a cigarette to celebrate quitting smoking, and Bill Murray chatting to The Wu Tang Clan about the benefits of herbal tea.
The films monochrome aesthetic only strengthens Jarmusch’s trademark use of deadpan humour. The repetition of coffee drinking and cigarette smoking, as well as various themes been revisited in conversations, helps tie the vignettes together seamlessly.
The screening takes place Thursday 2 October and will be preceded with a book reading by Piers Alexander whose novel ‘The Bitter Trade’ is set among the coffeehouses of late 17th century England:
“Calumny Spinks, redheaded and half-Huguenot, is the lowest person in his Essex village. Persecuted and fleeing to London, he tricks and mimics his way into the coffee rackets.”
Copies of ‘The Bitter Trade’ will be available on the evening as will a selection of coffee brewing paraphernalia.
Tickets are available now from our online ticket office at only £5 including a free cup-o-joe on arrival.
See you there!