Raindance 2021 Film Festival Capsule Review: Death Is Smoking My Cigars

Written by Alexander Reams


“You know: I’m drunk once again, here, listening to Tchaikovsky, on the radio. Jesus, I heard him 47 years, ago.”

In 1987 Charles Bukowski scribed the poem Death Is Smoking My Cigars, an existential and reflective piece of poetry in which Bukowski reflects on his life and career. 34 years later, Misfit Productions adapted the poem into an animated short film. The best medium of film to adapt one of Bukowski’s poems. His surrealism and existentialism translate beautifully into animation. The style chosen is reminiscent of an indie game you would play on your phone to pass the time during work (just me? Okay moving on.) which has become one of my favorite animation styles, but can outstay its welcome if done poorly. Here it never does because the film doesn’t exceed the length of the poem, forcing the creators to stay between the length of the poem, it can be stretched to a degree, but will suffer, here it is not stretched. A truly moving and thought-provoking film that left me thinking long after the (very) short runtime ended.

Death Is Smoking My Cigars Trailer

Death Is Smoking My Cigars was screened as part of the 2021 edition of the Raindance Film Festival.

You can connect with Alexander on his social media profiles: Instagram, Letterboxd, and Twitter. Or see more of his work on his website.

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