SMOKING CAUSES COUGHING drops us into a devastating battle between a diabolical giant turtle and the elite defenders of civil society, Tobacco Force After the deadly encounter Tobacco Force is sent on a mandatory week-long retreat to strengthen their decaying group cohesion. Their sojourn goes wonderfully well until Lézardin, Emperor of Evil, decides to annihilate planet Earth. A wildly inventive new comedy from Quentin Dupieux follows the misadventures of a team of five superheroes known as the Tobacco Force – Benzene (Gilles Lellouche), Nicotine (Anaïs Demoustier), Methanol (Vincent Lacoste), Mercury (Jean-Pascal Zadi), and Ammonia (Oulaya Amamra). After a devastating battle against a diabolical giant turtle, the Tobacco Force is sent on a mandatory week-long retreat to strengthen their decaying group cohesion. Their sojourn goes wonderfully well until Lézardin, Emperor of Evil, decides to annihilate planet Earth. Director and writer Quentin Dupieux (Mandibles, Deerskin, Rubber) joins us for a conversation on the inspiration for a film that latches onto a dark and very twisted version Saturday morning children programming as a vehicle to deliver a powerful punch to self-absorbed complacency and climate denial in delivering a film that has a lot more on its mind that might first meet the eye.
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About the filmmaker – Quentin Dupieux was born in Paris on April 14th, 1974. At 18, he discovered filmmaking and bought his first synthesizer. As Mr Oizo, he released the classic track Flat Beat and albums including Analog Worms Attack, Moustache (Half a Scissor) and Lambs Anger. In 2007, Dupieux directed, shot, edited and scored his feature debut, Steak. Next came the absurdist horror Rubber (2010), and the comedy Wrong. Further director credits include Wrong Cops (2012), Reality (2014), Keep an Eye Out (2018) starring Benoît Poelvoorde and Grégoire Ludig, Deerskin (2019) starring Jean Dujardin and Adèle Haenel, and Mandibles (2021), starring Grégoire Ludig and David Marsais.
“The cast is uniformly excellent and delivers enthusiastic performances, even the ones played by puppets, and the pacing is lively and not at all boring.” – Josh Kupecki, Austin Chronicle
“While Dupieux’s Rubber and Deerskin are his best films, Smoking Causes Coughing is hands down his funniest – not to mention most enjoyable – to date. It’s bloody, absurd, and sports a Super Sentai influence in all the best ways imaginable.” – Chris Sawin, Bounding Into Comics
“Smoking Causes Coughing isn’t just an anti-superhero superhero film, but, thanks to Tristram Shandy-like levels of discursivity, something akin to an anti-film.’ – William Repass, Slant Magazine
“The plot is able to seamlessly move from segment to segment without ever losing the audience. What should be jarring is instead funny. Yes, it is still nonsensical, but that does not take away from how entertaining it all is.” – Nathaniel Muir, AIPT
“Absolutely entertaining and ingenious, Dupieux’s disparate imagination doesn’t expire.” – Sara Martínez Ruiz, Espinof