Steve Buscemi plays the lead in his own winning début, situated in an American working-class suburb, about a short-tempered lounge lizard with a gift for the gab.
Steve Buscemi acted in several of the most memorable American films of recent years and was given a chance to learn first hand from the Coen Brothers, Abel Ferrara, Jim Jarmusch, Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino. For his début as feature director however, he largely allowed himself to be inspired by the way in which the godfather of the American independents, John Cassavetes, succeeded in having the characters and their mutual relationships tell the story of the film. In addition Buscemi draws on his own experiences. What would have become of him if he had not moved from Valley Stream, Long Island, to Manhattan to pursue a career as actor? Trees Lounge is based on this fictional detail. Buscemi himself plays the leading role of Tommy Basilio, a sharp tongued, funny but easily irritated man in his thirties. He spends most of his time drinking and picking up girls in the Trees Lounge in working-class Valley Stream, after he loses his job as auto-mechanic for ‘borrowing’ 1500 dollar. When an uncle dies, he takes over his ice-cream truck, but that only leads to more trouble when he pays a little too much attention to Debbie (17) for the likes of her father. Trees Lounge is a film full of working-class misfits, who can’t seem to find their place in life as easily as the bar. –IFFR
One of the most important character actors of the 1990s, Steve Buscemi is unmatched in his ability to combine lowlife posturing with weasely charisma. Although active in the cinema since the mid-’80s, it was not until Quentin Tarantino cast Buscemi as Mr. Pink in the 1992 Reservoir Dogs that the actor became known to most audience members. He would subsequently appear to great effect in other Tarantino films, as well as those of the Coen Brothers, where his attributes blended perfectly into the off-kilter landscape.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, on December 13, 1957, Buscemi was raised on Long Island. He gained an interest in acting while a senior in high school, but he had no idea of how to pursue a professional career in the field. Working as a fireman for four years, he began to perform stand-up comedy, but he eventually realized that he wanted to do more dramatic theatrical work. After moving to Manhattan’s East Village, he studied drama at the Lee Strasberg Institute… read more
Buscemi being one of favourite actors directs this fine film about ordinary people doing normal things in life. Wonderfully acted by the whole cast and nicely directed by Buscemi.