HABITUAL TENDENCIES Image

HABITUAL TENDENCIES

By admin | May 27, 2000

I would be interested in seeing the cigarette budget for “Habitual Tendencies.” I’m sure it exceeded the cost of every other aspect of the production put together. Unless, of course, the coffin nails were donated…which doesn’t seem likely considering the subject matter. This short video follows our protagonist into Jolly King Liquors, where he picks up $111.16 worth of cancer sticks (purchased by the carton, of course). Finding a butt still burning at an outdoor cafe, he snatches it up and smokes it down to the filter. Attempts are made to bum cigarettes from him. These attempts fail. Back at home, he (surprise!) smokes. And smokes and smokes and smokes. Ashtrays cover every inch of his apartment and carcinogenic clouds hang heavy in the air. Then, finally, there is a twist ending; a joke that doesn’t quite justify its build-up (to put it mildly). “Habitual Tendencies” is fairly well shot and edited, but as a short film about smoking it doesn’t hold a candle to those Yul Brynner public service announcements shot just before his death. Bald and gaunt, wasting away from cancer, Brynner looked like the grim reaper as he intoned, “Now that I am gone, I tell you…don’t smoke.” There’s nothing quite that chilling in “Habitual Tendencies”, which, to be fair, is played mostly for laughs. The trouble is, the most it can provoke is a few weak chuckles.

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