This one slipped under my radar but watching it felt like a genuine magically, voyeuristic experience similar to watching films like America Graffiti (73), bande à apart (64), Dazed&Confused (93) and Yu tu mama tambien (2001). A dirty, allnight drunken blast of adolescence sangfroid and chaos.
I’m guessing the novelty of a real-time single shot films has somewhat been overshadowed by the spectacle of Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s (The Ravenant,2015. Birdman, 2014) and Gaspar Noé’s (Irreversable, 2002) work, although filmmakers have been experimenting with the technology and its potential for real-time single takes on films like Silent House (2010), Cloverfield (2008) and Before Sunrise (1995). It would be interesting to know the Eisenstein and the Soviet mondernists would have thought of how present time and space in cinema that deliberately omits the edits.
I was probably more moved and impressed with Victoria than I was with either the thematically similar work of Iñárritu or Noé. It felt alot closer to the independent, low budget style of Scorsese’s Meanstreets, xxcept when you consider what the production budget and access to digital facilities must’ve been on The Ravenent, in terms of acting and camerawork, Victoria comes out as an immense achievement.
I’ve just read a review saying there were no edits in Victoria, which when considering what the actors do in the grueling 140 minute length, with no second takes, plus staging for action, location changes and key dialogue scenes, is quite astonishing.
The film is described as a heist, but actually that’s inaccurate. This is film is party that turns in a bloody robbery (which we don’t see), and then a desperate getaway. The performances are excellent, particularly that of the protagonist played by Bjork-lookalike Laia Costa, who carries the film, despite the story not being especially original, what it does well is capturing those beautiful moments and images.
The plot is simple. A lonely young woman, working in Berlin cafe, meets a group of rowdy young men as she leaves a nightclub. They invite her for more drinks and befriend her. One of the men, an ex-convict, pressures his friends to do a robbery for a gangster he owes money. The girl, feeling attached to her new friends, agrees to help by driving the car. It goes wrong.