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A Japanese couple obsessed with 1950s America goes to Memphis because the male half of the couple emulates Carl Perkins. Chance encounters link three different stories in the city, with the common thread being the seedy hotel where they are all staying. Written by
Ed Sutton <email@example.com>
Haunting and humorous triptych from amazing Jarmusch
Mystery Train is a moody and atmospheric gem surrounding a flea-bag Memphis hotel. Great performances are dished out (Screamin' Jay Hawkins and Cinque Lee are hilarious in an argument over exotic fruits from foreign lands) all around, but I favor the dynamic duo of Youki Kudoh and Masatoshi Nagase. Their characters are "far from Yokohama," but love will find its way to Tennessee. The lighting of a cigarette, an impressive t-shirt collection, an argument over the merits of Carl Perkins versus The King, the smearing of some crimson lipstick, and an exhilarating invitation to bed -- the minutiae of a special bond beyond mere chemistry. The combination of Nagase's dour, glowering sourpuss and Kudoh's charming, enthusiastic pixie makes for a volcanic cocktail.
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