In his Poetics Aristotle (384 – 322 BC) – provided a guidebook for Greek poets and dramatists, especially tragedians.   It included his insistence on The Three Unities: Action – the plot must feature one story so sub-plots forbidden, Time – the play must take place in real time but with a maximum of 24 hours, and Place – the plot must feature only one place.   (God knows what he’d make of Gone With the Wind.)


victoria, dvd cover

Victoria … Director Sebastian Schipper … Germany … 2015

Laia Costa and Frederick Lau

One City   One night   One take


Victoria is that rarity … a feature film shot in one continuous take. Schipper ticks all three of Aristotle’s boxes: Action – it concerns events around a bank robbery … Time – it takes place in real time from just before to just after dawn, and Place … it takes place only in Berlin. Victoria is a young Spanish woman who arrived in Berlin three months earlier, works in a café, doesn’t speak German, and doesn’t know anyone in Berlin.

I was gripped from the start … gripped more by the seamless single take than the bank robbery plot.

The single take is a remarkable feat, especially in complex scenes such as the inside of a car and getting out of it.   But I’m left with a thought: would a viewer who didn’t know it was in one take realise it?

Among its several awards was at the Berlin Film Festival where it won a Silver Bear for Outstanding Artistic Contribution for Cinematography.


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Last September I joined the Labour Party along with over 180,000 others to vote for Jeremy Corbyn.   As I wrote in a newsletter, I thought his left wing stance would attract the third of the electorate who either don’t register or don’t vote.   He won last autumn’s leadership election with 60% of the vote.

Although he had massive support from Party members, only a handful of MP’s support him and nationwide polls reveal him to be our least popular leader ever.

He has achieved a lot: he has politicised thousands upon thousands of left wing voters, the membership of the Labour Party has become the largest in Europe, and he has changed the Labour Party agenda so that even his opponent, Owen Smith, espouses Corbyn policies.

But it’s now clear that Labour will never win an election with him as leader, bringing the risk of the formation of another left of centre party which will divide the Labour vote and usher in a generation of Tory rule as happened in the 80’s.


Jeremy … It’s now time to stand down … you’ve done your job.


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