Monday, June 13, 2011


On the surface, there's not much special about this movie.  Simple dialogue, simple story, bare sets.  But the brilliance of this movie is that it's all done in a single take!  That's right!  The camera starts rolling and doesn't stop until 85 minutes later.

I first thought about the length of a take while watching one of the Kill Bill movies a few years ago.  There was a long, elaborate fight scene and I realized that camera never stopped rolling.  I don't remember how long it was, but it was pretty impressive.  Then I watched Russian Ark, which was an elaborate single take film.  It tried to make up for its lack of a story with the huge cast and elaborate costumes and sets, making for a rather dull movie.
PVC-1manages to tell a compelling, if simple and incomplete, story in its single take.  An armed gang invades a family's home, straps a bomb made from PVC pipe around a woman's neck, and demands ransom money.  The family frantically goes for help, calling in a bomb squad to defuse it.  The tension runs high, and the real time feeling draws the viewer in.  There's no room for back stories or extraneous material in this bare bones story, but that adds to the mystery and effectiveness.  I found myself wondering, Who are these people?  Why are they targeted by these criminals? etc.  But we don't have to have all the answers spoon-fed to us, do we?

So this is not the best movie you've ever seen, but for the sheer guts of filming a feature-length film in one shot, PVC-1 deserves a look.

Bottom line, 3 stars.

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