Accomplishing a long take has been seen as a way to approach real life. Long takes are continuous without cutting, developing with chronological order and exposing every detail of daily life. It also eliminates the utter authority of the director. When facing uncertainty, (for instance, people downstairs may be awake by Victoria’s shout in the roof then yell back), observers and actors may react differently due to different information they choose to receive from the image language. Whereas the notion of uncertainty is not spontaneous but constructed, which requires higher standard mise en scene as well as scenario design. González who cut a fake long take at the beginning of Birdman (2014) has proved long take can be a way to make you believe what you see is unartificial real life.
I would say the most brilliant setting is the communication obstacle. Imaging a woman from Madrid and guys in Berlin have to use English which is not proficient as their mother tongues. Firstly, it will reduce conversations so as to cancel interpretation of what is happening to the audience, in this way no one can stay safely in the position of a clear-minded outsider. Secondly, I feel like Sebastian partly has the similar intention as Beckett’s. Beckett wrote novels in French deliberately, trying to discover a kind of writing beyond the limitation of certain language. When Victoria speaks with Box, they use most simple and plain expression: “Am I a bad guy? You are a good man.” Repeating those words without any rhetoric has a strong power implying they are the most urgent question and ultimate answer in a conversation. And although they unable to discuss a specific issue in deep, they can feel empathy for others. Thirdly, I notice that Victoria always asks Sonne to translate German to her. When gangsters and her friends negotiate to rob a bank or leave her as a hostage, she keeps asking what they are talking and cannot get the instruction for acting. One of the burglar brother in Good Time (2017) is mentally handicapped. In the process of robbing a bank, he repeats that he wants to take off his mask. Thus you will see a criminal threat a bank clerk while comforting another criminal with words like “good boy.” It will create an absurd contrast between the tense narrative and language out of state.
To an extent, Sebastian is challenging the acceptance and completeness of image language. For instance, there are numerous techniques to glorify the beam in the bar but he refuses to do so. In 120 Beats Per Minute (2017), gentle and dreamlike beam constructs a shelter in cruel reality. However, the discomfort glare Sebastian utilizes breaks this illusion—there is nowhere to escape and no end to cease. I suppose it requires insistence of an order of serious expression.