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Tape

In contrast to his surreal, animated feature, Waking Life, Richard Linklater's second film of the year is Tape, one of 10 commissioned by the Independent Film Channel as part of their digital filmmaking collective, inDigEnt. The idea is to produce 10 digital-video features on budgets of $150,000 or less. Adapted from the stage play by Stephen Belber, Tape is a chamber drama contained entirely in a Michigan hotel room with the small cast of Ethan Hawke, Robert Sean Leonard and Uma Thurman. Hawke plays Vince, a small-time drug dealer and volunteer firefighter in town to meet an old high-school friend, played by Leonard. Their friendly reunion becomes tense as Leonard, a pompous aspiring filmmaker premiering his work at a local festival, patronizes his burnout friend. Hawke attempts to turn the tables, steering the conversation to whether or not Johnny date-raped a classmate--played by Uma Thurman--during their senior year of high school. Hawke goes further than mere accusations, revealing that Thurman--who enters two-thirds of the way through the 90-minute film--will join the two for dinner. See "Movie Capsules" for theaters.

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