- Rated: PG-13
- Closed captioning available
- Run Time: 1 hours, 43 minutes
- Video: Color
- Released: September 21, 1999
- Originally Released: 1998
- Label: Lions Gate
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
- Packaging: Keep Case
- Single Side - Single Layer
- Aspect Ratio: Full Frame - 1.33
- Dolby 2.0 Surround - English
- Additional Release Material:
- Never-Before-Seen Footage
- Trailers: Original Theatrical Trailer
- Audio Commentary: Paul Auster - Director
- Interactive Features:
- Scene Access
- Interactive Menus
- Text/Photo Galleries:
- Biographies: Cast Biographies
Performers, Cast and Crew:
Memorable Quotes and Dialog:
"Well, at least he's alive. I mean, you can't do anything unless you're alive."
- Celia Burns (Mira Sorvino) to Pierre (Victor Argo)
Box Office - 07/01/1998
"...Keitel gives a complex performance....The film remains an intriguing look at loneliness and love..."
When jazzman Izzy Maurer (Harvey Keitel) gets shot and loses his left lung, he is forced to face the future without his saxophone, without the music that was his life. When he stumbles over a dead man in an alley and brings home a briefcase, the small rock he finds inside it changes everything. The glowing, floating stone has a power that overwhelms Izzy and Celia (Mira Sorvino), leading them through a series of events over which they seemingly have no control. Novelist Paul Auster's first solo directing effort (he previously codirected BLUE IN THE FACE with Wayne Wang) is a moving character study of a group of fascinating individuals trying to survive life in New York City. The fine cast features stellar performances by the boldly understated Keitel as well as Sorvino, Gina Gershon, Mandy Patinkin, Willem Dafoe, and Vanessa Redgrave, as a former star actress turned director.
Paul (SMOKE) Auster wrote and directed this tale of Izzy Maurer, a jazz saxophonist whose life is altered after he is struck by a stray bullet. After recovering, he stumbles across a the body of a dead man. The victim's briefcase contains a mysterious stone that leads Izzy to a woman who helps him uncover some secrets that would've been better off left uncovered.
Jazz Musicians |
Theatrical Release |
- Filmed on location in New York City and Dublin.
- Four of the films that Celia appeared in that are shown on her video were HORROR MACHINE 6, THE LAUGHING MAN, FORGOTTEN HEARTS, and BOULEVARD OF BROKEN GLASS; the last film includes a cameo by Lou Reed. When Izzy says, "Hey, that's Lou Reed," Celia replies, "No it's not. It just looks like him." Reed is listed in the credits as playing Not Lou Reed.
- Fred Norris (PRIVATE PARTS) from the Howard Stern show makes a brief appearance as a German thug.
- Jazz musician Don Byron playes a member of Izzy's band, Katmandu.
- Harvey Keitel previously worked with Paul Auster in SMOKE and BLUE IN THE FACE.
- The Katmandu CD music featured in the film was actually played by John Lurie and the Lounge Lizards. John Lurie and Richard Edson starred together in STRANGER THAN PARADISE.
- Lena Horne performs the version of "Singin' in the Rain" that appears over the closing credits.
- Don Byron wrote and performed "Izzy's Last Jam."
- Among the people thanked by the director in the credits are Giancarlo Esposito, Jared Harris, Karen Sillas, Juliette Binoche, Stanley Donen, Wayne Wang, Stockard Channing, and Salman Rushdie.
- Auster originally wanted Wim Wenders to direct the film, but Wenders convinced Auster he should do it himself.
- Stockard Channing could not appear in the film but does do the voice of Celia's agent, heard on a telephone answering machine.
- Mandy Patinkin played Nashe in THE MUSIC OF CHANCE, based on Auster's novel.
- Production on the film ran from October through December 1997.
- The film screened at the 1998 Cannes Film Festival.