I really didn't know what to expect from Unsane. It was being talked about by everyone at the Berlinale film festival as 'the iPhone film', but as this was Steven Soderbergh - needless to say I was incredibly intrigued and knew there must be more to it than the fact it was shot on an iPhone.
The press conference was fascinating. In short the benefits of shooting on an iPhone greatly outweighed the few cons according to Soderbergh. He used the iPhone app FiLMiC Pro to shoot Unsane, as this allowed him complete manual control over the shot on par with high end cinema cameras (manual focus, exposure, white balance, LOG etc). For hard to reach shots where he couldn't see the screen - he used an app called FiLMiC Remote to wirelessly control his iPhone from another device on set. He described the process as liberating and wished he had access to this technology when he was starting out at age 15. He described the space between creative impulse and technical execution as being almost non-existent thanks to the iPhone.
The actors commented on how much they loved moving so quickly and not having the 'filmmaking machine' slow things down on set, allowing them to remain in character and creative.
Well now for the actual film... in short it was INCREDIBLE. After the first 2 minutes you completely forget it was shot on an iPhone. If you went into the theatre unaware of the fact it was shot on a smartphone you wouldn't even know. People need to stop calling this 'the iPhone film'. It is a great film that looks beautiful (in a dark and grungy way perfect for the story) that happens to be shot on an iPhone. Exciting times for new filmmakers just starting out for sure.
Claire Foy is just incredible and gives a raw performance that doesn't let up. I was never a huge fan of hers before - but am now (going to give The Crown another go).
There is a real sense of panic and claustrophobia thanks to the use of wide lenses and close proximity to the actors that probably is in large part due to the fact it was shot on a smartphone. You really feel like you are thrust into the very middle of this nightmare - so kudos to Soderbergh for that.
I've seen some reviews that called Unsane 'silly' - but I think some critics want it to be something it isn't. This is genre filmmaking at its very best - and blast to watch and a reminder that Soderbergh is a master of his trade and can effortlessly move between genres.
Go watch it with a group of friends. Don't let the fact that it was shot on iPhone put you off - you won't notice once you're sucked in, and you'll be inspired to know you can create a filmic masterpiece with what is in your pocket. This is one of my favourite Soderbergh films - and my fav of the Berlinale.
Horror / Thriller
Horror / Thriller
A young woman is involuntarily committed to a mental institution, where she is confronted by her greatest fear--but is it real or a product of her delusion?
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June 20, 2018 at 08:21 AM