Director: Jem Cohen & Peter Sillen | USA 2000 | 72 min
Benjamin Smoke is both the name of the film and its protagonist, who formed the band Smoke. But the film is far from being your usual music documentary. Shot over a period of no less than 10 years, the two directors Jem Cohen and Peter Sillen have made a both ambitious and intimate collage of interviews, live clips, time lapse cinematography and black-and-white Super 8 films in a story about a tormented genius. A genius, who was weakened by AIDS and an addiction to speed, and who died at the age of 39 from hepatitis. Until then, the loner and part time drag queen Benjamin lived in a hidden neighbourhood of Atlanta called "Cabbagetown", where he created his spellbinding Tom Waits-style music. The story is told by the man himself and people such as Patti Smith, Michael Stipe and Cat Power, who like the film's audience are left deeply moved by the existence of this unique person.
Benjamin Smoke (USA, 2000, 72 min.)
Director: Jem Cohen & Peter Sillen. Producer: Jem Cohen, Peter Sillen, Noah Cowan.