Theatre/Film review: Super Night Shot

Reacting to real drama didn't seem within Gob Squad's grasp
Reacting to real drama didn't seem within Gob Squad's grasp
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THERE’S a strange tension built into Anglo-German theatre group Gob Squad’s long-running instant cinema project. Having taken to the streets of whichever city they’re mounting their production in an hour before screening the end results, the four-person team conclude the shoot by filming themselves re-entering the venue while the waiting audience cheer them on like conquering heroes. It guarantees their single-shot film – shown on four adjacent screens with a live sound mix (a concept borrowed from Mike Figgis’s Timecode) – has a triumphant final scene. Sadly, however, Super Night Shot’s first Scottish outing – which took three attempts to get working – wasn’t especially deserving of the preemptive whoops.

The Arches, Glasgow **

Brought to Glasgow by The National Theatre of Scotland, what sounded in theory like a unique blend of theatre and film played out more like a pleased-with-itself theatre troupe’s outdated idea of cutting-edge cinema. At its best, it served up a few accidentally beautiful shots of the city.

At its worst, it revealed Gob Squad to be thoroughly ill-equipped to react to anything genuinely serious – as happened when two of the cast separately skipped past an ambulance crew attending what looked like a body lying on the street: a grim irony given they were making a superhero film.

True, sections of the capacity crowd did cheer throughout, but in a city that provided Under the Skin with a memorable backdrop for Scarlett Johansson to target unsuspecting members of the public, Super Night Shot felt like it had passed its sell-by-date.