Director Rod Lurie attended a Warner Bros. lot screening tonight (i.e., Tuesday, 11.17) of Ryan Coogler‘s Creed (11.25), and posted an excited riff about it on his Facebook page: Unbroken long shots, which Lurie calls “oners” (an infuriating term), “are a little bit like breaking a four-minute mile. Bravo and all that, but it’s been done. Many times. But in Creed, the latest in the Rocky saga, director Ryan Coogler is kind of breaking the world record. And at the same time he achieves something that every director in the sports-movie genre is challenged with — finding a unique way to shoot a boxing match.
“There are three fights in Creed, and the middle one — the one in which the title character (Michael B. Jordan) makes himself a contender — is a doozy. Somehow Coogler and his director of photography, Maryse Alberti, shoot the whole thing — every punch, every miss, every duck, every uppercut, every yell from the corner, the between-round coaching from both corners, every cheer…everything in one take. And it’s not done with swish pans and running the lens through lights — i.e., no cheating. It’s the real deal all the way and genuinely thrilling.
“And because it’s done in a single take it has an authenticity that is missing from most boxing movies. It requires incredible athleticism from the actors, of course. As both a former boxer and a director of a boxing film, I can assure you that shooting something like this must have been Hades for Jordan — but the end result was well worth it. Alberti did something close to this when she shot The Wrestler, I suppose — but this is a whole new level. It’s really something, the shot of the year and what you will be hearing about more than anything else [when it comes to] Creed.”