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FISH AND CAT

★★

INTO THE WOODS

SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL REVIEW
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By Brent Davidson
15th June 2014
There is something inherently impressive about a feature film that has been shot in two hours. Start to finish. Two hours. One long take. The months of preparation and rehearsals that must have gone into this film are an impressive feat in themselves. But does that translate into an interesting film?

Director Sharam Mokri has made a bold decision to shoot this entire film in one take. In a post show Q&A it is revealed that previous to his film career he was a mathematician - which is clearly evident through the precision of the actors and the script. He claimed the film was a homage to Slasher films, and while there was a very distinct feeling of foreboding through out, it felt like a rather tenuous link as nothing really happened (at least, until the very last minute).

The film ran on a couple of different narrative cycles, giving no real sense of time. Mokri described one of his biggest inspirations as being MC Escher, and this film definitely had a “walking up the stairs, but walking down the stairs” vibe. Seeing different characters from different perspectives, but without the convenience of editing making it feel like the same events were happening over and over again. The stark location and overcast weather conditions also added to the sense of timelessness.

For me, while the concept was great and the execution was exceptional; I was just not gripped. The film is so stripped back that it was almost bare of all life, and once you’ve gotten over the single shot thing (that felt like a little bit of a gimmick) there isn’t much to go by. This definitely was a little lost in the woods.

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