Jazz, film, and improvised culture.
Sundance ’13: Charlie Victor Romeo
is a rather bold programming choice, considering how many attending Sundance
have flown in from New York and Los Angeles.
Originally, it started as an Off-Broadway theater production, based on
the real life transcripts of black boxes recovered from plane crashes. Though it retains the potentially stagey single
cockpit set and the revolving ensemble, Robert Berger & Karlyn Michelson’s Charlie Victor Romeo holds the
distinction of being Sundance’s first 3D film, screening as part of the 2013 New
a film entirely depicting systems failures, it is ironically fitting CVR’s Monday night screening had to be
presented in 2D due to technical difficulties.
While some of the schematics incorporated into the film might look cool
in 3D, it is hard to see how the film lends itself to the process. The real story is the impressively realistic
sound, designed by Jamies Mereness, recorded and edited by Kevin Reilly, and
mixed by Joel Hamilton. The theatrical
nature of the solitary set also becomes quite cinematic, thanks to the eerie
constituent stories of CVR are a bit
bracing, since in each case a plane is going down. The only question is how bad will it be? In general, the short ones are more
disturbing. However, the clear dramatic
highpoint of the film recreates efforts to save a Peruvian flight that lost all
instrumentation, including velocity and altitude, soon after take-off.
cast-members are all quite strong in their various roles, particularly Patrick
Daniels (the director and co-writer of the original stage version) in the Lima
installment. They quickly create
convincing working relationships amongst the flight crews, which are almost immediately
tested in crisis situations.
is kind of like the parts of Zemeckis’s Flight audiences really want to see, played
repeatedly with key variations each time.
An intriguing application of technology to film (which is why it is a
New Frontiers selection), but also an unusually faithful adaptation of a stage
piece for the big screen, Charlie Victor
Romeo is recommended for fearless flyers when it screens again today (1/24)
and Monday (1/28) at Park City’s Prospector Square Theatre (the designated 3D
venue) as part of this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Travel safe everyone.
Labels: 3D films, Sundance '13