COLORADO SPRINGS, CO—Heralding the three-hour experience as “a mature, cinematic triumph beyond its time,” film critics offered high praise Tuesday for the single long, unbroken take a theater parent employed to capture a Desert Shadows Middle School production of Guys And Dolls. “The breathtaking decision to tell this story in a single, uninterrupted shot is brilliant, courageous, and unlike anything I’ve ever seen before on screen. Absolutely masterful,” said Hollywood Reporter critic Jon Frosch in his litany of praise for Hannah Malloy’s dad, Andy, noting his commitment to the craft in setting up his tripod six full minutes before the show began and then leaving the lens cap on the camera through the entire opening number, challenging the viewer to rely on senses other than mere sight—and their faith in the performers—in order to enmesh themselves in the musical performance. “During ‘Luck Be A Lady Tonight,’ Malloy managed to zoom in and out on nearly every person onstage before panning around the entire auditorium to capture the audience’s response, a technique never before attempted in my professional experience. He depended on no cuts, quick or otherwise, employed no trickery, and never once fell back on the crutch of editing. At one point, Mr. Malloy can even be heard asking his wife where the back-up battery is before handing the camera to her while he rifles through his bag—simply breathtaking verité. I also hope Mr. Malloy inspires more filmmakers to provide an intermission to give the viewer time to reflect on the experience and use the restroom if needed.” Critics added, at the risk of cursing Malloy with anticipation, that they “cannot wait” to see his adaptation of the eighth-grade graduation ceremony this June.
We may earn a commission from links on this page.