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Friday, Feb. 18, 2005

Short Takes: February 18, 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 Notebook

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)


Festival Express

Director: Bob Smeaton
Language: English
Currently showing
[See Japan Times movie listings]

This documentary film was shot during a legendary five-day tour of rock icons in the summer of 1970. Janis Joplin (who died two months later), the Grateful Dead, the Band and other stars had a non-stop party, moving from Toronto to Calgary by train. While traveling, the musicians lived, and jammed, together in cramped quarters. Recent interviews have been added to footage of the tour that was missing for 25 years following a feud between the promoter and the producer of the originally planned film.


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.


Traveling With Che Guevara

Director: Gianni Mina
Language: Spanish
Currently showing
[See Japan Times movie listings]

Fifty years after his epic journey on motorcycle with Che Guevera, Alberto Granado retraced his steps for this documentary. The film tells the story of the making of hit movie "The Motorcycle Diaries." The camera follows 82-year-old Granado on his nostalgic six-month journey. Joining the crew for "The Motorcycle Diaries" as an advisor, he gave inspiration to the creators and actors of the long-running feature film.



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