L.A., real time. From her limo, the wealthy Lauren eavesdrops on her lover Rose's tryst with movie producer Alex Green. The assignation takes place in his company's screening room between meetings. Alex's wife walks from therapy to his office, tells him she's leaving him, weeps in a bookstore restroom, and walks home with a cocaine-sniffing actress friend for what may lead to sex. Alex is drinking, wants to quit work and move to Tuscany, laughs at pretentious movie pitches, and puts off Rose when she asks for an audition. A film director sees Rose and decides she's perfect for his next picture; she takes a screen test. She's ecstatic and calls Lauren: jealousy takes over. Written by
"Symphony No. 5 - Adagietto"
Written by Gustav Mahler
Performed by The Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra
Conducted by Antoni Wit
Courtesy of Naxos Records/MVD Music and Video Distribution See more »
I am pretty sure that I will not see a more jaw-dropping piece of film-making for quite some time. To put the complexity of filming 4 continuous takes simultaneously and in full co-ordination into any perspective, is extremely difficult. And then to have such a dramatic climax at the end of 93 improvised minutes is pretty mind-blowing.
I'm sure plenty of people will scream "pretentious crap" - as the girl suggests in her meeting speech - but the innovative brilliance of this film should be applauded above everything else. For example, little things like how the camera is focused on Skarsgard in the meeting while his wife is having it away with another woman. And then bigger things such as each screen simultaneously focusing in close-up on their characters eyes. Unbelievable.
I'm sure this isn't everybody's cup of tea - some people just don't appreciate the concept of doing something unique and risky. Some people even go as far as criticising Mike Figgis for attempting this - when in truth, this experiment was never likely to reach the masses, so any accusation of arrogance/pretension are pathetic.
As for the story and acting, I have a sneaky suspicion that maybe the sound was turned down on certain screens in post-production when actor's were fumbling or struggling for dialogue, I also thought the sound should have been muted from the other 3 screens while we were focused on one - because at times we get mumbling from all 4 at once, which doesn't work. But none of this detracts from a truly great achievement from all involved - for actors to go 93 minutes undisturbed is very impressive.
A perfectly constructed and co-ordinated film, I am in absolute awe. 10/10
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