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St. Louis International Film Festival

Week of November 10, 2004

Yes Nurse! No Nurse! (unrated) Pieter Kramer. Sound like a porn flick? With nurses, majorettes and miniskirts aplenty, this Dutch musical could veer in that direction. Instead it sticks with camp, to uninspiring effect. Nurse Klivia (Loes Luca) runs a boarding house occupied by a merry, eccentric lot: a ballet dancer, a mad chemist and an Abbott-and-Costello pair with no apparent purpose in life. The group wreaks wacky havoc, much to the chagrin of its simpering landlord (Paul R. Kooij), who takes them to court in the attempt to evict. When a compulsive burglar enters the house and a flaming hairdresser opens up shop in town, the plot thickens. Maybe a great deal gets lost in translation, either from television to film or Dutch to English. Because while the movie clearly has winsome intentions, it's little more than a sitcom, as superficial as it is mediocre. Neither the choreography nor the music is inspired; the candy-colored costumes and sets are familiar; and the lackadaisical script can barely be bothered to lift itself off the page. Screens at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, November 13, at the Tivoli. (Melissa Levine)

Zen Noir (unrated) Marc Rosenbush. Heavy on the Zen, light on the noir, this film will appeal far more to fans of weighty (or not-so-weighty) philosophical films than people searching for a potboiler. The story of a nameless, stereotypical private detective who has his hard-edged "Western" view of the world challenged when he investigates a murder in a Buddhist temple, Zen Noir has some fun poking holes in the worldview of the obviously metaphorical gumshoe. But it gets pretty heavy-handed after a while, and as the private dick falls deeper and deeper into confusion, you might too. Screens at 7:15 p.m. Thursday, November 18, at the Tivoli. (Jordan Harper)

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