What would you do, if you were there?
Charlie Victor Romeo was originally a play, first performed in 1999 in New York. As a cinema experience, it retains the immediacy of live theatre despite its minimal set.
The title is taken from the cockpit voice recorders – CVR, the ‘black box’. The script was built around the cockpit conversations of pilots and crew during crisis moments. These moments of tension are recreated without excessive drama or histrionics. The actors perform like true pilots, trained to keep working through when even the plane seems to be fighting all attempts at control.
Actor and co-writer Irving Gregory was on hand to take questions after the movie. He told the story of the play itself, and how the storytelling had been improved by many post-screening conversations with pilots. He said, ‘Our goal was always to present a show that wouldn’t make real pilots cringe if they were in the audience.’ Part of that authenticity was the (usually) calm and methodical approach of the cockpit crews to the problem that confronted them. Irving made an interesting point about the men and women we trust at thirty thousand feet: he said, you don’t meet too many pilots who engage in philosophical conversations with God. The job requires a clear mind and a precise discipline. What’s the problem? Do that. Still not right? Try this. Work through the possibilities. Because OH MY GOD WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE!!! doesn’t help anyone.
This news item about the original live presentation mentions the Air Peru incident where the pilots were getting contradictory data from their instruments. Turns out you don’t just have to worry about the pilots and the engines; the maintenance crews can do you in, too.
Charlie Victor Romeo can be seen online at Vimeo through REVonDemand. Australians will pay about $5 for a week’s streaming, or $10 to buy. Not sure what the deal is for the rest of the world but rest assured, you’ll get your money’s worth.
Sticking with the high-flying theme…
The Visit: An Alien Encounter looks at ET from a completely new angle. There are no UFOs, no cute little ETs, no noble advanced race with a dark purpose they keep concealed.
What will we do when they find us? Director Michael Madsen explores the question through the eyes of academics and officials. You’ve likely heard of SETI, the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence, but what about United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs – UNOOSA? Madsen’s assembled cast discuss the issues with each other, and address the camera as if we out here in the cinema are the aliens.
No cities get destroyed, no enslavements, no Throw Another Human In The Pot. The Visit is a meditation upon an issue that has fascinated us for generations, and finds that there is much we have still to ponder.
Again, it’s very pleasing to note that The Visit can be seen for the (Australian) price of an iced coffee and a chocolate bar. Do some visiting of your own at REVonDemand.