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maryann johanson | watching movies at home

Interview with the Assassin (review)

If the Blair Witch guys decided to remake Oliver Stone’s JFK, it might look something like Neil Burger’s spare and stunning mock documentary Interview with the Assassin. Out-of-work news cameraman Ron Kobeleski (Dylan Haggerty: The Postman) has the story of the century drop in his lap when his neighbor, creepy ex-Marine Walter Ohlinger (Raymond J. Barry: Training Day), asks Ron to put his big secret on camera: There was indeed a second gunman on the grassy knoll that fateful day in Dallas in November 1963, and Ohlinger was that gunman. Like Blair Witch‘s “found” footage, Interview takes place entirely through the viewfinder of Kobeleski’s camera as the pair go in search of some evidence to support Ohlinger’s astounding claim, giving the film an immediacy and an intimacy that sucks you in and dares you not to believe it’s all true. Coolly postironic, the film sent chills down my spine and had me on the edge of my seat more than once, for while it treats its subject matter with all sincerity, it recognizes both the joke of conspiracy theories (and theorists) and how seductive they can be. Don’t worry — it’s just a movie. Or is it?

MPAA: not rated

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