Blue in the Face is the companion film to another Wayne Wang/Paul Auster collaboration, Smoke (1995). A totally improvised film with a huge cast of New York natives. A funny and freewheeling portmanteau movie, centred around a small tobacco shop in Brooklyn, New York. The whole neighbourhood comes to visit its owner to buy cigarettes and have some small talk. During the movie Lou Reed tries to explain why he has to have a cut on his health insurance bill if he keeps smoking, Ru Paul teaches the locals how to dance, Jim Jarmusch quits smoking and talks about action films, and Madonna visits as a Singing Telegram.