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Friday, Feb. 11, 2005

Short Takes: February 11, 2005


The Fighting Temptations

Director: Jonathan Lynn
Language: English
Currently showing
[See Japan Times movie listings]

A heartwarming comedy about an advertising executive in New York who gets fired for falsifying his resume. Debt-ridden, he returns to his hometown to attend a family funeral. There he learns he can inherit $150,000 in stocks if he can lead a church choir into a big gospel contest. While the story is a familiar one, the music -- sung by top gospel, soul and R&B singers -- makes this an uplifting movie.


The Noteboo

Director: Nick Cassavetes
Language: English
Currently showing
[See Japan Times movie listings]

In the summer of 1940, Noah (Ryan Gosling) meets Allie (Rachel McAdams) and falls in love, forever. He remains deeply committed in spite of all obstacles, class differences (he's a lumberjack, she's from a wealthy Charleston family). Even old age and Alzheimer's won't deter Noah's path which just goes to show you: love is never having to say you forgot what happened in the summer of 1940. (Kaori Shoji)


Sansa

Director: Siegfried
Language: French, English, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Portuguese and Hungarian
Currently showing
[See Japan Times movie listings]

Leaving Paris on a lark, a sidewalk artist named Sansa ends up traveling through 14 countries. Along the way he flirts with women, gets beaten up by security guards and befriends a famous violinist. Filmmaker Siegfried, a bohemian wanderer himself, did almost everything, including the scriptwriting, music composition and cinematography. Now showing at the Tokyo Museum of Photography till Feb. 20. Closed Mondays. For information, call (03) 3280-0098.


Touch of Spice

Director: Tassos Boulmetis
Language: Greek
Currently showing
[See Japan Times movie listings]

Amid the political conflict between Turkey and Greece in the 1960s, Fanis and his family were deported from Constantinople (Istanbul) to Greece, leaving his grandfather, a culinary philosopher and his mentor, alone. Thirty-five years later, Fanis, now an astrophysics professor living in Athens, and at the crossroads of his life, receives a phone call telling him that his grandfather is seriously ill. A nostalgic journey back to his birthplace then begins. As a Greek living in Turkey, director Boulmetis himself was also banished from Constantinople when he was 7 years old.


Stormy Weather

Director: Solveig Anspach
Language: French, English
Currently showing
[See Japan Times movie listings]

This slow yet confidently paced film sensitively looks at the relationship between a psychotherapist, Cora (Elodie Bouchez), and her patient, Loa (Didda Jonsdottir). Working at a hospital for the emotionally disturbed in France, Cora takes a special interest in Loa, an older woman who is uncommunicative and prone to violent fits. Loa's identity is initially unknown, but once it it learned that she came from Iceland, she is sent back to her home on a remote island. Cora follows her and learns much about Loa, as well as herself.



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