Filmed in black-and-white and set in Buenos Aires, Tetro follows an eighteen-year-old American cruise ship waiter who uses his layover in Argentina to look for his long-lost older brother, a reclusive playwright whom he hasn’t seen in years.
This film is not currently playing on MUBI but 30 other great films are. See what's now showing
Evocative of a specific time and place, which seems to exist more in the mind of its author than in any actual, physical reality. A world that is informed by a specific culture of existential literature, Latin rhythms and the 'foreign language' cinema of the 1940s, through to the 1960s. Within this world Coppola wrestles with his own creative disappointments, his personal rivalries, and his relationship with film.
TETRO is typically a movie to see several times in order to appreciate it completely. The screenplay is extremely well written and the title says it all if you think of it. A DVD zone "I should spare some time to see it again but I really don't know when". Recommended.
The main attraction is the superb black and white cinematography by Mihai Malaimare Jr. Unfortunately, the story isn't on the same level as the arresting visuals. Clearly a very personal film for Coppola, but I wasn't able to share the affection and connection he had with these characters and setting, which can make the loose story pretty plodding. Not a terrible film, but it never coalesces into a satisfying whole.
Boasting of thematic depth and wonderful lighting, Tetro is a strong entry from Francis Ford Coppola into his canon. Strong writing is foregrounded in this intricate tale of human relatonships: emotions are never reduced simplistically, the world's absurdity is accepted for what it is and wounded memories are aptly approached. I personally prefer this over The Godfather.