- No English subtitles
(This film is mainly English spoken, some parts are in German, the subtitles are in Dutch)
One Spanish waitress, one night in Berlin and one continuous take without any cuts. Four friends, one, no wait, two stolen cars, a club, a roof, a parking garage. Two hours later Victoria’s life has been turned totally upside down and inside out.
An entire film in one take – meaning: a film in real time – is a fascinating format. Because by nature, it’s a very demanding production – especially when the characters, and therefore also the entire crew behind the camera, cover quite a distance, as they do in Victoria. Then there’s the excitement of wondering if, and how, they managed it. German director Sebastian Schipper cleverly plays into that by slowly increasing the suspense in the movie: form and content go hand in hand.
It’s certainly not the first movie doing this. When Hitchcock made his thriller Rope in 1948, film rolls lasted a maximum of ten minutes, so he had to use some clever editing on things like full-screen shadows to make it look as if the movie was shot in one take. In 2002 Aleksander Sokoerov made the first official one-take film, thanks to the then still experimental digital technique: Russian Ark, a dreamlike journey through three hundred years of Russian history.
Stylistically there are many ways to go with a one-take film. Victoria uses it to increase the sense of realism and to leave the audience gasping: so much has happened in just two hours! We met four fun friends, went up to a roof, drank, flirted, stole a car, ended up in a creepy parking garage – and the rest you’ll have to come see for yourself.
It may not be an extreme amount of things to happen in a regular film, but it’s definitely a lot for two consecutive hours of your life. And what’s regular, anyway? When you think about it, it’s regular feature films that you watch in a strange, unusual way, jumping in time and place with a cut every few seconds. That’s not how real life is. Real life is like Victoria: one take.
Translation: Marjan Westbroek