Last Friday night Charles and I had the cinematic pleasure of watching the UK’s first showing of German Film Victoria. And it was quite simply breathtaking. Without doubt one of the most amazing cinematic experiences I have ever experienced. For those who don’t know the entire film was shot in one take. Yes, one take. All 138mins in one take. Let me say that again – one fucking take! The Cameraman Sturla Brandth Grovelen, who rightly receives the first credit at the end of the film, follows the cast for the entire film through the early hours of a Berlin morning and engulfs the viewer whole-heartedly in the story.
The lead performances of Laia Costa as Victoria and Frederick Lau as Sonne pull the viewer in to the film from the very first moment you meet them and for the rest of the film you are there with them. You become part of their night, part of the action, you are in the film. That’s how I felt anyway.
Following the film director Sebastian Schipper took questions from the audience. And it was easy to see how he had been capable of pulling this film off. He was himself a force of nature giving lengthy, deep and thorough answers to each of the questions. I could have listened to him talk about the film all night. Indeed we left the cinema discussing how we wanted to take the man for a beer not only to congratulate him but to simply learn more about the process and experience of making this incredible piece of cinema. There are hundreds of questions I would love to ask him about the process and film.
The film is an incredible achievement and I personally can not recommend it enough. If you love film, if you love cinema and if you want to see what modern technology allows filmmakers to do then you have to see this film. Prior to watching it we had already decided that one of our next Pallas projects was going to be a one take short. Now we are absolutely certain we are going to do a one take short. If Schipper and Grovelen can pull of 138minutes in one take then we can manage 4 minutes.