Bennie travels to Buenos Aires to find his long-missing older brother, a once-promising writer who is now a remnant of his former self. Bennie's discovery of his brother's near-finished play might hold the answer to understanding their shared past and renewing their bond.
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Francis Ford Coppola
James Earl Jones
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The week of his 18th birthday, Bennie, who's a waiter on a cruise ship, has a layover in Buenos Aires. He seeks out his older brother, Tetro, whom he hasn't seen in years. Tetro, who lives with Miranda, is a burned-out case; he's hot and cold toward his brother, introducing him as a "friend," refusing to talk about their family, telling Bennie not to tell Miranda who their father is. Thoughts of their father cast a shadow over both brothers. Who is he, and what past has Tetro left behind? Bennie finds pages of Tetro's unfinished novel, and he pushes both to know his own history and to become a part of his brother's life again. What can come of Bennie's pushing? Written by
Francis Ford Coppola decided to shoot this film the same way he shot Rumble Fish (1983) (in black-and-white, with occasional bursts of colour), since both films held "a spiritual connection" with each other (both are dramas about relationships, primarily that of brotherhood). See more »
Early in the movie Tetro stumbles into the kitchen with a broken leg and knocks over some furniture while lighting a cigarette using a burner on the stove. he ignites the burner by just turning the knob on the stove. A few minutes later Miranda must use a match to light a burner on the same stove-top. See more »
Thousand of miles away from Hollywood, the great Francis Coppola confronts something personal as a human being as well as a filmmaker. The story a young man looking for his older brother under the crippling shadow of a famous father. Hummm. Compelling, absorbing, mesmerizing at times. The younger brother is played with real magic by newcomer Alden Ehrenreich but for some inexplicable reason the older brother and title role is played by Vincent Gallo. He's an interesting guy but not at all the pivot that, clearly, the part required. I needed to feel things that Gallo didn't provide. He's just weird and even in the enormous emotional scenes (like the final one) he's not really there. I wonder why Coppola made this bizarre casting decision. The rest of the cast is fabulous and Buenos Aires breaths a life of its own even if, it didn't feel like Buenos Aires - I know that city pretty well - it looked at times like a border town in Mexico. Buenos Aires has an old fashion, seductive kind of elegance nowhere to be found here. I'm sure there is reason for it and I hope to discover it in my next viewing because this is a film I know I'll see many, many times. Another thing to cheer about, a strange and haunting score (it reminded me of "Apartment Zero" in more ways than one) and a sensational black and white Cinemascope screen. To be seen!
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