If you haven’t already seen Sebastian Schipper’s German/English, one shot thriller, here’s why Victoria is a must see.
1. It’s actually a one-shot film
Whilst there are many films which are edited to appear to be one-shot I.e. Iñárritu’s Birdman (2015) and Hitchcock’s Rope, (1948) Sebastian Schipper’s Victoria’s tagline “One girl, One night, One city, One shot” doesn’t disappoint. Filmed over 138 minutes, between the hours of 4.30am and 7.30am, Victoria follows the title character into a night of adrenaline fuelled action, one which is heightened dramatically by the tension and realism the one shot allows. This heightened state means that any tension is intensified, but so is any of boredom, joy, distress, making Victoria an emotional roller-coaster and an all-round unforgettable experience.
From the offset we are forced, as a non German speaking audience to relate to Victoria’s remoteness, creating an instant connection with us and the title character, meaning that despite the film’s inconsistencies, it’s hard not to feel emotionally invested in what will happen to Victoria (Laia Costa) throughout the film. What makes this more exciting is the entire cast’s improvised dialogue and reactions which draws us in and helps give the film the quality of running on real time, creating even more tension through the unpredictability of the cast’s performances.
Amazingly, the cinematography in Victoria isn’t compromised by the one shot take, instead the film which was shot with a EOS C300 Canon, is high quality and contradictory due to it’s rawness and beauty, captured despite the film’s unorthodox film-making choices, which awarded cinematographer, Sturla Brandth Grøvlen the German Film Award for Best Cinematography at the Berlin Film Festival.
Created by composer Nils Frahm for his first ever film score, featuring classical musicians including, cellist Anne Müller and violist Viktor Orri Árnason, and Deaf Center’s Erik K Skodvin on guitar, Nils Frahm’s score, with tracks including “Pendelum” and “On The Roof”, powerfully compliment Victoria‘s roller-coaster ride of emotions effortlessly.
5. The Future
Whilst Victoria isn’t the first one-shot film ever made, the current rise of critically acclaimed digitally shot films and the distinctive feel the film creates, does beg the question of why there haven’t been more one-shot features in recent years, and why theoretically, there can’t be a live film coming our way in the future.