Movie Information

The Asheville Film Society will screen Tetro Tuesday, June 29, at 8 p.m. in the Cinema Lounge of the Carolina Asheville. Hosted by Xpress movie critics Ken Hanke and Justin Souther.
Genre: Drama
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Starring: Vincent Gallo, Maribel Verdú, Alden Ehrenreich, Klaus Maria Brandauer, Carmen Maura
Rated: R

Francis Ford Coppola’s Tetro (2009) has one of the lousiest titles of all time. That—along with the casting of Vincent Gallo and Coppola’s own uneven batting average—was enough to make sure that his film got a very sparse release (through his own company) and that people stayed away. That it made it to Asheville in the first place is remarkable. That it only did tepid business isn’t. But the film’s reputation has grown since its theatrical release—as those of us who did see it suspected it would—and the Asheville Film Society is giving viewers another chance to see it in a theatrical setting with an audience. It truly is (as the director himself has said) Coppola’s most beautiful film—and it may be his most personal. It’s certainly his most amazing work since Apocalypse Now (1979). That’s a bold claim, but one supported by the film.

Now, I’m not a huge Coppola fan by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, I appear to be one of the very few who don’t have at least one, if not two, of his Godfather films on my list of great movies, so I wasn’t really expecting greatness out of Tetro, which, of course, made the discovery of it all the more delightful. When I first reviewed the film, I was inclined to think that aspects of it might be viewed as a little on the melodramatic side. I suppose that some will take that view, but I’m no longer among them. The more I’ve lived with the film in my mind, the more I’ve come to think that the tone is just right.

I hope people will come see for themselves what an incredible work of art Tetro is. This truly is a very special movie. Check out my original review at http://www.mountainx.com/movies/review/tetro. I not only stand by that review, but I withdraw any hint of reservation I may have expressed then.

About Ken Hanke
Head film critic for Mountain Xpress from December 2000 until his death in June 2016. Author of books "Ken Russell's Films," "Charlie Chan at the Movies," "A Critical Guide to Horror Film Series," "Tim Burton: An Unauthorized Biography of the Filmmaker."

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8 thoughts on “Tetro

  1. Me

    This film took me by surprise, it really does deserve its place right up there with Coppola’s other great family dramas?

    I didn’t think Tetro was that bad of a title though.

  2. Ken Hanke

    I didn’t think Tetro was that bad of a title though.

    Oh, I do. It conveys nothing, but has the downside of sounding like it’s probably not in English and has sub-titles. However you feel personally, that’s not a strong selling point.

  3. Had a customer call last week to complain that the film was in b&w. They also complained about the quote on the back saying it was “beautifully shot.” Somehow that only applies to color films. (sigh)

  4. Ken Hanke

    Somehow that only applies to color films.

    Sometimes it’s hard not to just give up in despair.

  5. Me

    I like not in English and subtitles.

    It sounds like the title of a Jodorowsky film to me.

  6. Ken Hanke

    I like not in English and subtitles.

    That’s not surprising, but it has no relevance as concerns selling a film to a broader audience.

    It sounds like the title of a Jodorowsky film to me.

    Again, this is not a strong selling point to most of the moviegoing world.

  7. DrSerizawa

    Definitely worth watching if only for the gorgeous black and white cinematography… an apparently all but lost art. In fact it’s a point of snobbery in my personality that tend I look down on people who won’t watch black and white movies (or subtitled ones either). I have some tempermental artists amongst family and friends so I found myself chuckling a bit at some of the situations that only artists seem to be able to muck up so thoroughly. This may end up being one of the best remembered movies of the year in a year of so many eminently forgettable movies.

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