Archive of films Tower / Tower
2016, 83 min
Section: Documentary Films - Competition
August 1, 1966, a hot day in Austin, Texas. An unknown shooter occupies the upper floor of the clock tower on the university campus and begins firing at passersby. Outstanding rotoscope animation enhances this reconstruction of the first mediatized school massacre in the United States.
August 1, 1966, a hot day in Austin, Texas. An unknown shooter occupies the upper floor of the clock tower on the university campus and begins firing at passersby. The minute hand seems to be advancing at a desperate crawl – has the murderous madness stopped time? One shot follows another, more and more lifeless bodies drop to the sunbleached ground… Keith Maitland backs away from an “objective” description of events, shifting the narrative focus toward the personal experiences, impressions, and feelings of eyewitnesses, their perspectives on what happened alternating rhythmically. The terror of those 96 minutes materializes before our eyes in a dramatic reconstruction enhanced with masterful rotoscope animation. The protagonists’ testimonies and carefully selected archive materials enrich the film’s already singular form. Thus we too experience the icy chill of the mayhem and feel to our very marrow the penetrating fear suffered by the survivors and the victims of the first mediatized school massacre in the United States.
About the director
Keith Maitland (New Jersey, USA) graduated with a degree in creative writing from the University of Texas; he also attended the Director’s Guild of America Trainee Program and the PBS/CPB/WGBH Producer’s Academy. His debut The Eyes of Me (2009), focusing on a year in the lives of four blind teenagers, was nominated for an Emmy and won a Barbara Jordan Media Award. In addition to documentaries, the filmmaker is involved in advertising and TV projects, among them NBC TV’s “Law & Order,” which credits his name as assistant director for seven seasons. He came to the story of the mass shooter at the Austin campus of the University of Texas via one of the eyewitnesses, an elementary school history teacher. Maitland began collecting the requisite materials in 2006. In addition to Tower, he completed a feature-length documentary this year as well – A Song for You: The Austin City Limits Story.
About the film
Color, Black & White, DCP
|Section:||Documentary Films - Competition|
|Dir. of Photography:||Keith Maitland, Sarah Wilson|
|Art Director:||Keith Maitland|
|Producer:||Megan Gilbride, Keith Maitland, Susan Thomson|
|Cast:||Violett Beane, Blair Jackson, Louie Arnette, Chris Doubek, Josephine McAdam, Aldo Ordoñez, Seamus Bolivar-Ochoa|
Director of Photography, Executive Producer