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Review: American Animals

— by RON WILKINSON — The heist gone terribly wrong is some of the best film noir subject matter there is. There is the able and deserving hero who cannot get a break. There is the double-crossing partner who gets his just desserts in the end. There is the unpredictable love that gets in [...]

Review: Charm City

— by RON WILKINSON — A great documentary takes on a life of its own. By the end of “Charm City,” it is obvious that to write this as fiction would be impossible, this is a screenplay written by those who know. There is no middleman, the viewer is in a world that few could […][...]

Review: Ghost Box Cowboy

— by RON WILKINSON — A stranger in a strange land sees gold nuggets falling out of the sky. The cowboy puts on his hat and rides for the horizon, horse and camel. The Ghost Box is the key. A strange, inexplicable black box that talks to the spirits of the dead while warding off […[...]

Review: Ghost Stories

— by RON WILKINSON — Professor Phillip Goodman is comfortable with himself. As an A-list psychic debunker, he is quite at home shattering others’ spiritual illusions. His mad dog attacks on celebrated practitioners of the sixth sense almost always win him another stuffed head over the [...]

Review: Island of the Hungry Ghosts

— by RON WILKINSON — Tiny Christmas Island, Australia, may be the world’s most beautiful and mystical place. At least, the most beautiful place in which you would never want to live. The sea pounds its jagged, rocky shoreline whistling, wheezing and sometimes screaming through blowhole[...]

Review: Zama

— by RON WILKINSON — Don Diego de Zama suffocates within a glass cage in the sweltering miasma of Spanish colonial Paraguay. A minor official of an invasion, he is stationed where occupiers are sent to die. If they do not die they are forgotten. South American born, and slowly being writ[...]

Review: Journey’s End

— by RON WILKINSON — Hardly the first film about The Great War, the pin-point focus of this essay on mental disintegration makes it one of the best. It is a stripped-down production, shot almost entirely in the mud-filled trench sets. Most of the dialogue takes place in the incredibly sq[...]

Review: Big Fish and Begonia

— by RON WILKINSON — Every soul is a fish on a journey through the sea and the setting is water for much if this riveting film. The movie is animated but the story line is so complex and has so many symbolic references that it is most suitable for adults. The magic is in […][...]

Review: Lowlife

— by RON WILKINSON — In his narrative feature debut, writer/director Ryan Prows shows some good stuff, but not enough to make this flick a success. It unabashedly copies the style of “Pulp Fiction” but does it to considerably reduced effect. The movie opens in a great setting in what[...]

Review: 12 Days (aka 12 jours)

— by RON WILKINSON — A dozen residents of a French psychiatric hospital have one thing in common. None of them volunteered to be there. They have been adjudicated to be a danger to themselves or others. Therefore, they will stay in the lock-up until the authorities decide they can leave.[...]

Review: The Workshop (aka L’atelier)

— by RON WILKINSON — From the opening scene of the strikingly beautiful Marina Fois leading a sunny summer class of vibrant teens, we know there is going to be trouble. The trouble is the barely concealed sexual chemistry between her character, the teacher Olivia Dejazet, and her brillia[...]

Review: Number One (aka Numéro une)

— by RON WILKINSON — Emmanuelle Devos may be the one suffering the slings and arrows of powerful and spiteful male colleagues, but there is never any doubt as to who is in control. Her exotic and beautiful exterior masks a deliciously devious mind that is every bit as capable of mayhem a[...]

Review: Petit Paysan (aka Bloody Milk)

— by RON WILKINSON — If you are in doubt about the nastiness of dorsal hemorrhagic fever, look no further than this flick. If you think it is bad when it infects the cows, just wait. Director Hubert Charuel’s bovine version of “The Cabin in the Woods” is brought to you by the 23rd [...]

Review: The Lion Sleeps Tonight

— by RON WILKINSON — The 23rd Rendez-Vous with French Cinema, co-presented by Film Society of Lincoln Center and Unifrance, brings you the 60th year of Jean-Pierre Leaud’s acting life. As the actor Jean, he finds it hard to play his own death. Understandably so, since, as one of the cr[...]