Skip to content
Eye Logo link to homepageEye Film Museum Logo, link to homepage
Smoke 1


Wayne Wang / DE, JP, US, 1995 / 112 min.

The New York tobacco shop run by Auggie (Harvey Keitel) is a place where lives regularly intertwine, in this melancholic slice-of-life film based on a screenplay by Paul Auster. To accompany My Name is Peter Stillman, the virtual reality adaptation of Auster’s The New York Trilogy, EYE screens three films written by Auster, a film aficionado whose writing is inspired by film techniques. 

Smoke poster

Smoke is set in a tobacco shop in Brooklyn modelled after the shop frequented by author and fervent smoker Paul Auster. The casual meetings in the shop inspired him to write a story which he turned into a screenplay for the film he made together with Wayne Wang. A regular guest in the tobacco shop run by Auggie (Harvey Keitel) is an author with a writer's block called Paul (William Hurt) – surely no arbitrary name.

Film plays a major role in almost all of Auster”s novels. There are numerous crossovers between his films and his novels, filled as they are with casual meetings, doubles, malleable identities and solitary writers who sometimes even bear the author”s (first) name, as in Smoke. The characters in his books often share a common past and have met before. In this way his books and his films form a coherent universe.

My Name is Peter Stillman

EYE screens Smoke together with the VR installation My Name is Peter Stillman, which will be running in EYE's Project Space from 1-10 April. My Name is Peter Stillman draws you into the haunting story of Peter Stillman, the protagonist of The New York Trilogy, Paul Auster”s debut novels. Also screening are Auster”s The Inner Life of Martin Frost (2-6 April) and Blue in the Face (3-8 April). Jason Wood will talk about Paul Auster as an author, filmmaker and scriptwriter for theatre and VR on 3 April.

This is part of



Wayne Wang

Production year




Original title



112 min.



Part of

Virtual Reality in Eye

Virtual Reality productions are an increasingly important element of the contemporary film experience. Eye has created Virtual Reality in Eye, a programme that focuses on VR. You’re not confronted with the flat surface of a film screen. You move around virtually in 3D through a designed space that surrounds and immerses you on all sides.

Learn more
Xtended: Angels in Amsterdam in Eye
Smoke 2
Smoke 3
Planning on having a drink or a bite to eat? Book online for Eye Bar Restaurant.
Share your love for film and become a member of the Eye Society.

Current exhibition

  • 20 January — 20 May 2024

    Paravel & Castaing-Taylor

    Cosmic Realism

Films, talks & events

Show everything

for anytime

in all languages

Sort by