Germany | 2015 | 140 mins | German, English, Spanish
Shot in one continuous take, the adrenaline-charged Victoria begins in a techno club in Berlin where the eponymous lead— a pianist who has recently dropped out of the conservatoire in Madrid—meets the dorky Sonne and his three thuggish pals, who offer to show her the real city. But the boys are in hot water—owing someone a dangerous favour that must be repaid that night. Victoria begins a flirtation with Sonne, who convinces her to come along for the ride, and she soon finds herself cast as the getaway driver in an out-of-control bank heist. Shot on grainy, rough-and-ready digital, the film is remarkable for the nuanced changes in Victoria’s character—from happy-go-lucky ingénue to urban desperado. Subsuming all dialogue at certain points, Nils Frahm’s score veers from juddering electronic chaos to dreamy intrusions of piano and cello—a sonic approximation of the alternating noise in Victoria’s head.
Actor and director Sebastian Schipper was born in 1968 in Hanover, Germany. He joined his first theatre group at the age of 16 and later studied at the Otto Falckenberg School in Munich, going on to act at the Munich Kammerspiele and make several short films. His first feature as director was Absolute Giganten (1998), followed by A Friend of Mine (2004) and Sometime in August (2008). “The first thought I ever had about Victoria,” says Sebastian, “was that I realised that I would never rob a bank. I didn’t like the thought. I believe it would be an experience like no other … The more I think about it, the more I believe that’s why we watch films. It’s not about stories, action, jokes and characters, but going somewhere and doing the undoable. Right now!”