Four cameras. One take. No edits. Real time.

Improvisational, real time drama might well put you in mind of the kind of people whose heads are so far up their own arses that their voices are muffled. You'd probably be right as well, but not with this, Mike Figgis' far from perfect, but still endlessly fascinating and daring experiment in multiple storylines.

What Figgis has done is filmed four different strands of narrative (all set within the same afternoon) and then set them all on the screen simultaneously. Each strand moves continuously, meaning four stories that you need to watch, with the sound fading in and out on the part which you are meant to focus on. The obvious beauty of the film is that you can direct your attention towards whatever you want, compare and contrast different stories or just attempt to take in everything in one go.

The varied stories all involve film industry related characters, as Tripplehorn suspects her actress girlfriend (Hayek) of cheating, so plants a bug in her bag, Hayek actually having a liaison with producer Stellan Skarsgard, who is losing his wife (Burrows), who is succumbing to coke, whilst Skarsgard's team are hearing a wonderfully pretentious pitch from a young filmmaker (MacLachlan). While you may have seen everything in all these stories before and better, the concept is what attracts, and may even persuade you to watch again later to see what you missed the first time.

Rotten Tomatoes Score:





Mike Figgis


Mike Figgis


Jeanne Tripplehorn, Salma Hayek, Saffron Burrows, Viveka Davis, Stellan Skarsgård, Kyle Maclachlan


Mike Figgis


97 minutes








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