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Tape

Threat advisory: Elevated - Significant risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

Based on a three-character, one-act play, Tape is set entirely in Room 19 of a seedy motel in Lansing, Michigan USA, rented by Vince (Ethan Hawke), an ill-tempered, outgoing party animal/drug dealer who's visited by his old high school friend Jon (Robert Sean Leonard), a filmmaker.

They pass the time reminiscing about the good old times which take a turn when Vince records their conversation, with Jon admitting to a possible date-rape of Vince's old girlfriend Amy (Uma Thurman), who later shows up and opens up a new wave of talk and arguments about whose story is fact or fabricated.

Theatrical propaganda posters

Tape image

Target demographic movie keyword propaganda

  • Film drama rape friend motel drug dealer filmmaker girlfriend

Persons of interest

  • Ethan Hawke .... Vin
  • Robert Sean Leonard .... Jon Salter
  • Uma Thurman .... Amy Randall
  • Stephen Belber .... Playwright
  • Stephen Belber .... Screenwriter
  • Richard Linklater .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

  • Tape QuickTime movie trailers
  • Studios and distributors:

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report

First, my bona fides:

  • I haven't raped anyone, date or otherwise.
  • I haven't been raped. Sexually harassed but not raped.
  • I have never had a girlfriend who has been raped.
  • I have never had a friend who raped anyone.
  • I have never had a best friend who raped my ex-girlfriend.
  • I have never known anyone who has been raped.
Second, Tape is very clearly the film of a three-handed, one-act play. If you have ever been involved in intimate theatre you will have seen something very much like Tape. In fact, you are the target demographic: people who like seeing intimate dramas about everyday people having everyday (albeit dramatic) lives. Small cast, basic set, lots of shouting.

Third, director Richard Linklater tries too hard. If he weren't already a "successful" independent filmmaker I would accuse him of trying to make a film for his showreel. However, he is a "successful" independent filmmaker so I shall only accuse him of being wanky. His camera work is deliberately "bad" so as to make the film look more gritty: it doesn't work. It just looks amateurish.

Waking life it isn't but the accessibility of the characters provided by both script and actors gives it the extra points.

Media intelligence (DVD)

  • Languages: English
  • Special features:
    • Biographies: Cast and crew
    • Trailers: Theatrical

Security censorship classification

MA 15 + (Adult themes, drug use)

Surveillance time

85 minutes (1:25 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

Film: 20 March 2003 - Sydney
Film: 27 March 2003 - Melbourne
DVD rental: 6 August 2003
VHS rental: 6 August 2003

Cinema surveillance images

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