“Wildcat” – Claws out [MOVIE REVIEW]

“Wildcat,” Ethan Hawke’s audacious film about Flannery O’Connor, tries for the kind of gothic approach that this Southern writer might have liked. Most ambitious was his desire to reintroduce O’Connor, considered one of the leaders of Southern Gothic literature, a group that included William Faulkner, Tennessee Williams and Carson McCullers. This style often included elements…

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“Io Capitano” – Captain of all [MOVIES]

“Io Capitano,” nominated for this year’s Academy Award for Best International Film from Italy, is a complicated web and complex film. Written and directed by Matteo Garrone,  “Io Capitano” is the story of two teenage boys from Dakar, Senegal with stars in their eyes and Europe as a goal.  It’s not so much the endless…

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“Ordinary Angels” – Ordinary people [MOVIE REVIEW]

“Ordinary Angels’ is a sweet story meant to tug at your heartstrings and play on the adage that one person can make a difference. Jon Gunn, working from a script by Meg Tilly and Kelly Fremon Craig, bases his tale on a true life story about a very sick child and the stranger that rallies…

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“God and Country” – Whose God and whose country? [MOVIE REVIEW]

“God and Country,” an excellent and rather chilling documentary directed by Dan Partland, lays out the history of the radicalization of politics in some of the largest Evangelical Christian churches and how much of it has morphed into a Christian Nationalist movement bent on changing the face of the nation to mirror their essentially all…

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“Tótem” – The spiritual [MOVIE REVIEW]

Writer/director Lila Avilés has always been intrigued by the chaos of families, especially large Latin American families where boundaries are fluid and views of life are often contradictory. In “Tótem” she tells a story of family as seen through the eyes of seven-year-old Sol. It is a significant day in the life of young Sol…

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“American Star” – At sea [MOVIE REVIEW]

Inspired to create a film noir that would harken back to the days of the silent anti-hero, director Gonzalo López-Gallego and writer Nacho Faerna have constructed all the necessary elements. Inscrutable hitman? Check. Femme fatale? Check. Isolated location? Check. The pieces are all there but, in the end, don’t entirely work. It isn’t just the…

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“I Am Burt Reynolds”  – And you’re not [MOVIE REVIEW]

Considered by some as the “last movie star,” Burt Reynolds lived many lives and all of them out loud. This film is a trip down memory lane for those who were acquainted with him and a revelation for those who weren’t.  Burt Reynolds was the very embodiment of the expression “tall, dark and handsome.” A…

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“Coup de Torchon”- Clean Slate [MOVIE REVIEW]

Rialto Pictures has just released a 4K restoration of Bernard Tavernier’s 1982 masterpiece, “Coup de Torchon” based on Jim Thompson’s novel “Pop. 1280.” I have to confess that I saw the film in its original release and this dark humor, pulp noir feature left me cold. Seeing it now, all I can wonder is how…

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“Freud’s Last Session”- Analysis à Deux [MOVIE REVIEW]

Based on the original premise presented in an excellent play of the same name, playwright Mark St. Germain imagined a scenario in which a dying Sigmund Freud (83), now living in London, sees one last appointment, an Oxford English literature professor named C.S. Lewis (40). Not so much a psychoanalytic session but a meeting of…

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“Our Son” – Our sun [MOVIE REVIEW]

“Our Son,” directed by Bill Oliver, looks at divorce and custody from a direction rarely shown. Nicky is very happy in his marriage. As far as he’s concerned, he has it all—a handsome, creative husband, a great job that supports them in comfort, and a son, Owen, who is the light of his life. Gabriel,…

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“La Syndicaliste” – Under siege [MOVIE REVIEW]

“La Syndicaliste,” directed by Jean-Paul Salomé based on the book written by Caroline Michel-Aguirre, tells the horrific but true story of Maureen Kearney, the dedicated head of a union representing workers employed by Areva, France’s nuclear power company. Maureen fought tenaciously to protect employees throughout Europe who maintained the vast empire of French nuclear power…

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“Fallen Leaves” – Too far from the tree [MOVIE REVIEW]

“Fallen Leaves,” the much lauded Finnish entry for the Academy Awards by cult director Aki Kaurismäki, is both more and less than it appears to be. Now keep in mind, there are many things that color a reviewer’s interpretation of a film, not the least of which is mood, anticipation and reputation. I must admit…

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“Bella” – Indeed [MOVIE REVIEW]

If you’ve never heard of Bella Lewitzky, here’s a chance to learn about one of the pioneers of modern dance in California.  She definitely made a mark on the genre and Director Bridget Murnane wants to fill in that history.     In 1934, little more than a teenager, Bella happened on a modern dance…

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