Facing a vote in Great Britain to ban smoking - all the time, anywhere - unrepentant two-pack a day smoker Lynn Barber waxes nostalgic on cigarettes in cinema history, using iconic smoking moments in film to explore how cigarettes have been used to add depth and subtext to films from The Big Sleep to Casablanca. How, bemoans Barber, will future smoke-free generations have the social knowledge of smoking to understand the subtler meanings cigarettes have imbued in films of the past? Will a smoke-free citizenry be so obsessed with the health issues of Mrs. Robinson kissing while holding in a lungful of smoke, to fully appreciate the meaning of that cinematic moment?

What great moments in film wouldn't be the same to you if they had been smoke-free?

[ via Matt Dentler's Blog ]