Sebastian Schipper Film 'Victoria' is a One-Take Wonder

A still from the Sebastian Schipper film Victoria
A still from the Sebastian Schipper film Victoria

Cineastes and critics still in awe of Orson Welles' 1958 film noir Touch of Evil and its 3-minute, 20-second opening tracking shot, take a seat. Director Sebastian Schipper's new film Victoria is a rare, magical treat, a film that was made in, as its poster states, "One city. One night. One take." Victoria was shot in a continuous, 134-minute take across 20+ locations in Berlin, Germany – cafes, nightclubs, etc. The English and German language flick that won three awards at the Berlin International Film Festival 2015 opens wide on October 30.

Co-written by Schipper, Olivia Neergaard-Holm and Eike Frederik Schulz, and shot by Norwegian-born cinematographer Sturla Brandth Grøvlen, Victoria finds its title character (played by Spanish star Laia Costa) flirting with the locals while on holiday in Berlin. Things turn sinister when Victoria goes off with four young, friendly Berliners who owe a local crime baron a dangerous favor that must be repaid that evening.

The fast-paced, white-knuckler Victoria is reminiscent of Doug Liman's Go (1999) with its nighttime clubland escapades and shadowy endeavors. Only in Victoria, Schipper and Grøvlen upped the ante by shooting the film in one long, uninterrupted take executed on April 27, 2014, between (approximately) 4:30 AM 7:00 AM. This feat was accomplished all while involving the characters in bank robberies, car chases and shoot-outs. Impressive.

Photo courtesy of Adopt Films

Posted on Friday, October 30, 2015