Film Reviews

Ten 'Til Noon

Ten 'Til Noon is a twisty crime thriller that is constantly watching the clock. With a circular structure and some unexpected punches, the movie replays the same ten minutes six times over, each time from a new point of view or location, introducing new characters throughout. Each one of the 12 will find his or her life changed at the end of a scene. Some characters are played more successfully than others. The opening setup capitalizes on the questionable talents of Alfonzo Freeman (as well as the strong resemblance and family tie to the more famous Freeman: Morgan). The acting quickly gets a lot better from there; in the very next scene, a kooky, sexy Rayne Guest commands the screen as a verbally sadistic, heartless harlot who plays with her prey. The performances that follow stay strong, but none are quite as fun to watch. Despite the considerable time given to cell phone conversations (at least one per scene, motif-like, and revealing bit by bit who is calling whom), the plot rolls along, and the dialogue is smart. These elements punctuate the time-conscious theme and its vignette structure to summon an entertaining movie out of the wilds of low-budget land. Including this film festival, Ten 'Til Noon has played 12 festivals and garnered almost half as many awards. Some say the flick evokes Tarantino. True enough: It's a quirky and twisted movie that playfully connects the dots between cross-related disjointed action with an ensemble cast of edgy underworld characters at all levels of the game. And the bit of "Mr. This" and "Mr. That" (using anonymous names as a code) and unapologetic violence certainly nod in Tarantino's direction. If you do see it — remember not to walk away once the closing credits get started; there's bonus footage for those who can hang. (Sunday and Monday, October 29 and 30, 8 p.m., Cinema Paradiso; 88 minutes.) — Keely Flow
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Keely Flow