"You might call it a hobby," suggests Auggie (Harvey Keitel), manager of the Brooklyn Cigar Co. corner shop. He refers not to his stogies, but to his daily photographic snapshots of Brooklyn life. Which nicely frames the whole concept of these two films - both written by Paul Auster, both directed by Wayne Wang and both conversation-driven ensemble pieces starring Keitel.
Smoke traces the interlocking lives of writer William Hurt, Auggie's one-time lover Stockard Channing, teenage runaway Harold Perrineau Jr. and his estranged father Forest Whitaker -each one playing with a rotten hand dealt to them by a fluke twist off the deck of fate. The stories and characters are engrossing, the accents delicious and the slice-of-life action totally irresistible.