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Victoria's single take is incredible, but it's not "better" than Birdman's

Sebastian here, not at TIFF, but now taking your donations to get me there next year...

Frederick Lau and Laia Costa in VICTORIA

Ever since its premiere at the Berlinale earlier this year, Sebastian Schipper's Victoria has been compared to Alejandro González Iñárritu's Birdman. The US poster even leads with a quote from Variety's Guy Lodge: "Fly away, Birdman — there’s a new one-shot wonder in town."

Victoria was shot in one take, which lead many to compare it (usually favorable) to the Best Picture winner. It's an odd comparison to make, though, since Iñárritu's film wasn't shot in one take, and never pretended to be, either. (The fact that Douglas Crise and Stephen Mirrione weren't even nominated for Best Editing is one of the stranger oversights in The Academy's recent history.)

Both films share in their production an elaborate, fairly - though not entirely - unique effort with a high degree of difficulty to pull off. But so does Boyhood. Or Mad Max: Fury Road, for that matter. That doesn't mean they're doing the same thing, and it certainly doesn't mean that one of them is "better" at it than the others.

As tempting as it may be for some to use Victoria's impressive technical achievement to get in one more jab at the much (and in this writer's view unfairly) maligned Oscar winner, it really doesn't do either of them justice.

VICTORIA had its North American premiere at TIFF this week and is being rolled out to US theaters next month, starting with New York and Los Angeles on October 10. Full release schedule here.

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Reader Comments (5)

Vielen Dank. Sebastian!

September 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

The trailer looked great when I saw it at a Landmark Theatre recently—though that "Fly away, Birdman" line was just rude.

September 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSan FranCinema

The trailer bothered me cause every quote consisted of comparing it to another movie. Which is ok for one blurb but when every blurb is like that it annoys me. Don't you hate it when new releases are being compared to your favorite films. All the goodfellas comparisons almost ruined American Hustle for me because to me no film is on the same league as goodfellas.

September 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJosh

It's sad because this is also how movies are pitched to studio heads, "it's like xxxxx meets xxxxx", because it seems an original idea is irrelevant nowadays. Ironically VICTORIA has so little in common with BIRDMAN, other than the one take cinematography, that I find this quite distasteful. If anything VICTORIA has more in common with BREATHLESS and so many brilliant heist movies, heck it even has more in common with that other single take wonder ROPE in how they deal with "perfect crimes"!

September 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJose

There's an interesting interview with Sebastian Schipper here:

September 18, 2015 | Unregistered Commenteranna

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