Charlie Victor Romeo

Award winning theatrical documentary derived entirely from 'Black Box' transcripts of six real-life major airline emergencies brought to the screen with cutting-edge stereoscopic 3D technology.


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  • ★★★½ review by davidehrlich on Letterboxd


    just so far as it plays into my personal fears, this was about as harrowing as it gets. i was trembling by the time i reached the opening title card. sorry UNITED 93, you had a good run, but you are no longer the worst possible film to screen on an airplane.

    having said that, as strong as the performances are, i'm not sure if the normalized approach accomplishes enough to compensate for the lack of particulars supplied to each crash. using the same small, easily recognizable cast returns the viewer to a stable place where they can be pulverized anew, but the human element is certainly lost, as is any clear commentary on how national culture affected these incidents. and it gets complicated by how things are colored in that weren't on the audio transcripts... the pilots checking out the ass of a flight attendant, silent cues invented for this piece. it's thorny stuff and it doesn't sit easy, which mirrors how i feel every time i step on a plane in the first place.

  • ★★★★ review by Not Michael Sicinski on Letterboxd

    Charlie Victor Romeo is a 1999 play by the Collective: Unconscious theatre group that has now been adapted into a feature film. Or more properly, we should say that it has been “transcribed” onto film; there is no attempt to expand on the stagebound, black-box origins of the piece, and this refusal to create a more obviously cinematic atmosphere is just one part of CVR’s conceptual project. The subject matter that comprises Charlie Victor Romeo is widely available to anyone who cares to discover it. This, too, is part of the overall structure of its intervention as both a performance work and an experimental documentary. In succession, with no overarching narrative or interstitial connective material, CVR features a rotating troupe of players reenacting the final moments in the cockpit before six separate airplane crashes. The dialogue and actions are taken from the cockpit voice recorders (“CVR,” which is translated into NATO alphabet code for the title), which were recovered following each disaster. In essence, we are watching as airline crews work to stave off probable or certain death. Or, to be more precise, we are watching actors turn these real-life events into a form of docudrama.

    Continued at the source.

  • ★★★½ review by Jeremy B on Letterboxd

    A peculiar documentary that has a pretty basic set. Black backdrop and some set pieces made to look like a airplane cockpit.

    The basic premise is they took REAL black box recordings from airplanes with complications ending in casualties or issues. It sounds simple and it sort of is, but at times it can be just riveting, and often chilling. It's a bit cheesy at first but then it really gets enthralling after the first two scenes.

    Don't watch it before flying.

  • ★★★★ review by Waldo on Letterboxd

    I almost couldn't bear it! I was nervous as hell. Real life black box recordings being reenacted by actors. Goddamn! This is nightmare material! The sliding projectors sounds and the captions scared me shitless! "Um, how much gas do we have?" If I hear anyone from a flight crew asking that I have an instant coronary right there. Distracted pilots, flirty stewardess, some situations more serious than others, some deadly serious. Tense as an awaiting execution! I need a Coors Light.

  • ★★★½ review by Glenn Heath Jr. on Letterboxd

    Horrifying. All that work, hope, energy to fend off the inevitable, then silence. My worst nightmare.

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