The August 1, 1966 sniper massacre perpetrated by Charles Whitman from the clock tower on the University of Texas’ Austin Campus remains a particularly gruesome milestone in modern American history. There have certainly been far worse mass public killings in the decades since, but the Austin attack was for decades the defining example of such tragedies. 18 people, including Whitman himself, ultimately died, and it remains a defining moment for the University of Texas. The documentary Tower, using a combination of rotoscoped reenactments and archival footage, recounts the story, detailing its tragedies and the surprising heroism of those on the scene. The first trailer has been released and you can watch it now above.
The film bears an interesting aesthetic to be sure, particularly the dreamlike effect, thanks to the rotoscoping, that recalls in particular Richard Linklater’s A Scanner Darkly. The film has been getting rave reviews both for how it looks and how it approaches the horrific subject matter, and if you live in New York City or Los Angeles you’ll be able to see for yourself next month. Directed by Keith Maitland, Tower will see limited release next month, opening in NYC on October 12th at the Film Forum, and in L.A. October 14th at the Laemmle Royal. Along with the trailer, the official poster was also released – check that out below.