Bit Of A Long Shot?: Victoria Film Review

The long-shot is a filmmaking technique that has found itself back in vogue in the past few years. Knowing what one even is would normally be the kind of technicality confined to the likes of film-student GeekDom. The use of an extended take across a series of locations which would normally be divided by post-production cuts though is a rare example of a directorial styling which has crossed over to mainstream consciousness. Pioneered by Alfred Hitchcock’s nine-take The Rope, the likes of Martin Scorsese and Gaspar Noe have directed iconic sequences in the form – but it was Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s 2014 project Birdman which really brought the technique back to the fore (with contribution from Cary Joji Fuknunaga’s infamous one-take massacre which capped off Episode 4 of HBO drama True Detective in the same year). Sebastian Shipper’s 138 minute Victoria makes those examples look showy by comparison. Though it ran the normal risk that its style may act as crutch for an otherwise unremarkable picture, this German thriller transpired to be one of the least reliant on its technical prowess: and the novelty which probably got the viewers’ bums on seats in the first place took a backseat to a completely immersive narrative .


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“Everything Has Become A Metaphor”: Demolition Film Review

Demolition is a film defined by its contrivances. Critically and promotionally; talk of the movie has been dominated by the novelty, and sometimes derived for the ‘wackiness’ of its central premise. In it, Jake Gyllenhaal plays Davis, a man who loses his wife in a car crash and, having never been attentive enough to love her in life, attempts to do learn how to do so in death – through correspondence with a vending company who owns a machine which ate his change shortly after her death and by the literal dismantlement of various objects in his life. In other words: it’s not hard to see why. But a dodgy premise is not cause to right off a project (I’m looking at you, Breaking Bad). The pull of the film hence became the presence of Jake Gyllenhaal who, after the streak of Prisoners, Nightcrawler, Enemy and Everest has joined the likes of Joaquin Pheonix and Oscar Isaac as two of the most reliable young actors in American cinema – and the director, Jean-Marc Vallee of the excellent Dallas Buyers Club and Wild. Thanks to their respective talents, Demolition works: against the odds.

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