New York Paramount Building freezes clocks in honor of UT tower shooting, ‘Tower’ film

A still from "Tower" (Keith Maitland - Go-Valley LLC)

A still from “Tower” (Keith Maitland – Go-Valley LLC)

New York City’s Paramount Building froze its three clocks at 11:48 a.m., and will keep them still until Oct. 13.

The freeze was planned with the New York Film Forum Oct. 12 release of “Tower,” the film. The movie won the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award SXSW earlier this year, and the film will be rolled out nationwide after the New York release.

A sniper started shooting from the top of the UT tower at 11:48 a.m. 50 years ago on Aug. 1, killing 16 and wounding three dozen. The shooting victims have since been commemorated with a granite monument. Those who remember that day recall ambulances and sirens.

“We could see the smoke coming from the Tower,” Sharon Alexander said. “We were told to go to the back of the restaurant, because the bullets could reach us from where we were standing. A very shocking day, one I never want to see again and will never forget.”

Claire Wilson, the subject of “Tower,” was an 18-year-old freshman and the first person shot. She was eight months pregnant at the time and when her boyfriend tried to help her, he was shot and killed. She lay on the ground for 90 minutes before fellow student John Fox saved her.

“I am honored that they have chosen to remember the events of the Tower shooting in this remarkable way,” Wilson said in a news release. “Drawing attention to this memory is a way to learn from our past, and focus on our present and future together.”

The 50th anniversary of the tower shooting has fueled campus carry debate at UT Austin. “Tower” producing partner Killer Impact helped facilitate the NYC Paramount Building’s decision to freeze their clocks.

“Impact supports ambitious filmmaking of consequence, in this case, as a way of reminding the world that victims of violent crime must neither be forgotten nor should we ignore the takeaways,” the company said in a news release.

 


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