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A Chicago Take on a Single-Take Movie

By Rob Christopher in Arts & Entertainment on Mar 24, 2008 3:50PM

2008_3onetakemovie.jpg Hitchcock got the ball rolling. Orson Welles experimented with it too. But it wasn't until Russian Ark (and the advent of digital video, with its high-capacity recording capability) that an audacious technical challenge was satisfyingly fulfilled: shoot an entire feature-length film in a single take. Aleksandr Sokurov's surreal voyage through St. Petersburg's Hermitage showed exactly what the form is capable of and received nearly universal critical plaudits.

Now writer/director Aram Rappaport plans to try his hand at it with his thriller Helix. According to the blog at Wired, "plans are underway to shut down several areas of Chicago so the 100-minute crima drama can be shot in a single take." Filming is scheduled to begin today, with Alexa Vega in a leading role as a victim of kidnapping.

We don't really know much about Rappaport, other than that his imdb photos are pretty dreamy. But we wish him well and we're curious to see the result. Technical acheivement aside, the form itself doesn't automatically ensure a great movie. Hitchcock's own Under Capricorn, which is dull as dishwasher, is a perfect example. An even better one is Mike Figgis' Timecode, one of the most godawful movies we've ever sat through, embarrasing and pretentious in equal proporation. Let's hope that a meat-and-potatoes thriller will be the perfect story to tell in this fashion.

image via TheseBootsAreMadeForStalking