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Well, that’s weird.

People keep dying! I bought a shirt with fabric designed by Trina, and later that day it was announced that she died. And I bought this small box set (Smoke and Blue in the Face) in May 2023, and whattayouknow, May 2024 Paul Auster ups and dies.


That skyline…

Anyway, I was a huge fan of Auster’s — I’ve read all of his books up until, like, 2005-ish? Even the essay collections and stuff. (Unfortunately, his later books weren’t as compelling as his 80s/early 90s stuff, and I lost track of him…) But I did indeed see this movie when it was released, and I remember that I really liked it? But I can’t recall anything about it beyond that.

Hey! William Hurt! For most of the 80s, I’d see a VHS his name on it, and I’d rent it, and then be disappointed that John Hurt wasn’t in the film.

But I’ve finally managed to remember that those are different names.

Harvey Keitel, too…

Oooh. Hurt plays an author named Paul Benjamin. Getting meta already! (Benjamin is Auster’s middle name, dontcha know.)

I cannot overstate how much I enjoy watching these scenes — just wandering around New York, not a greenscreen in sight, without digital colour grading. It’s such a relief — these scenes bring me joy.

Man, Auster is so good at this stuff — random events that tie into something significant.

I wanna live in one of these apts.

Perhaps with less smoke, though.

Nice home decor!

This is such a great movie. It’s just kinda perfect. And I think it’s basically been forgotten now?

And it makes me wonder about Wayne Wang’s other movies… I should look them up.

Smoke. Wayne Wang. 1995.

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