Tower (2016)

“I remember looking at the Tower, of course, a lot. And from the Main Mall you can see there’s a biblical line from the Bible.  “Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.”  I’ve thought about it.  One of the truths I learned… Is that there are monsters that walk among us.  There are people out there that think unthinkable thoughts and then do unthinkable things.” – John “Artly” Fox

Number of Times Seen – 1 (2 Apr 2017)

Brief Synopsis – Documentary about the people that were present the day a sniper started shooting people at The University of Texas in 1966.

My Take on it – I had never heard of this film until it was recently recommended to me by my good friend Dan of Slipthrough Movies.

I had heard about the tragic events portrayed here and even recall a reference to it in Full Metal Jacket (1987), but I never really read what had actually happened on that day.

This film is able to give us such a broad perspective of the events because it gives us so many diverse stories that help tell the complete picture.

The use of animation to tell this story is great because it helps give us a clearer picture as to where everyone was during the events of that day.

The voices of the characters are synced extremely well with the interviewees and we can even hear and feel their own nightmares returning as they relive those events.

The animation is enriched by the added use of real news video and pictures from that day in order to help give us a more realistic feeling to it all despite it being more than 50 years following these events.

The film is shot in a way that we truly feel as if we are there witnessing these tragic events yet without any ability to intervene.

I am so glad that I finally have heard this story and what better way to be told such a story than by those who actually witnessed it all.

Bottom Line – Such a great idea because it us able to perfectly utilize the animation in synch with the stories being told by the interviewees. The added use of real footage of the actual event helps make this feel even more realistic even 50 years after it happened. They are able to give us such a broad scope of what happened on that day due to the diverse perspectives shown from each of the people who tell their part of the tale. Harrowingly helps us feel as if we were right there as this all happened. Highly Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – In a Q&A, director Keith Maitland revealed that he filmed locations at the University of Texas with an iPhone in order to obtain the footage animators used for the rotoscoped backgrounds, while most of the actors featured in the re-enactments were filmed in his backyard in front of a greenscreen. (From IMDB)

Rating – Oscar Worthy


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6 thoughts on “Tower (2016)

  1. One of my favorites of 2016. I found it amazing how some of these people had never really dealt with these events until the documentary. It was just so inventive and moving

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes! So glad you liked TOWER, Rob. Great review too!

    The way the documentary is presented in animation told the story in the best possible way. I was riveted the whole time too. What a captivating and provocative film! Thanks for spreading the word on this hidden gem. I can’t wait to see what these filmmakers do next.

    NERD ALERT: It inspired me to add another concept to my list of movies to write. 😉 This idea is under copyright, of course. As I was watching TOWER, I expected the interview subjects to be dead (like the pregnant woman, students, and the cops we meet). I thought the animation gave an excuse to let us know what it was like to be a part of this tragedy… as a victim. It made the subject matter even more engrossing for me, as I thought this was really the storytelling technique being used. I think I want to apply my idea of the victims speaking beyond the grave with an animated doc about Columbine (or a similar fictional scenario). If anyone might appreciate this kind of idea, I thought it’d be you. I hope you don’t me sharing it here 🙂 But I’m curious, what do you think?


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