Tape End

Dir. Ludwig Wüst

The director, having decided to make a new project, sets a casting at his place, which he also plans to tape on video. Having set the camera in such manner that there would be just red sofa, piano and the front door seen in picture, he presses “rec” – and the recording is going to stop in sixty minutes – this is the time “Tape End” lasts, which is made in single shot, in one take.

An actress come to the casting – the same one, the director has been working ten years ago. And something says that it wasn’t just plain work. The rehearsal gets interrupted by director’s wife and daughter, but soon they leave. When they are finally left alone it takes only ten minutes for the actress to put up a fight with the director, say some awkwardly rude words and blame him for all that went wrong in her life – from a forced abortion to her “lost youth”. Then, first her head is lying on his shoulder, then she is already sitting on his knees and soon – between his knees.

In the absence of the other artistic instrumentation, the film is based upon almost exclusively on the acting. This is the task Ludwig Wüst is challenging his actors with – to improvise, as much as they can, in the cramped bounds of the story. And this is also the thing the director is asking the stress to do in the film.
So the most interesting part here is to watch the improvisation of the real actress and that one of her character being crossed. When she breaks into tears, telling him that she was forced to make an abortion because she “didn’t want to have children with such moron” – was she sincere of was she just getting into her role? And in the moment she started to unbutton his pants?..

Unfortunately, this improvisation is not that powerful to keep the viewer’s attention for sixty minutes straight. The most agonizing moments are those of significant pauses between dialogues, when either nothing is happening or the sound of running water in the shower can be heard. This situation gets partially made up by the end of the film, when the woman demonstrates that she doesn’t need a professional education to be a real actress. Especially, when she is inspired by such powerful feeling as jealousy.

Nikita Kartsev