Liu Jiayin. Period.
The gigantic 7 ones in Hitchcock’s Rope. The endless traffic jam in Godard’s Weekend is very impressive too.
The opening of Irreversible
Children of Men has a few great ones for sure. Would also like to add the tracking shot at the end of The Sacrifice where the house is burning. You’d think if they screwed that up they’d have to build another house set there. All I kept thinking was “what a great shot”.
I just watched I AM CUBA by Kalatozov, and there are some magnificent long acrobatic takes (DP Sergey Urusevsky)….One shot in the beginning of the picture goes down the side of a building to a pool, and the camera follows some swimmers straight into and then under the water. Another of the funeral in the third segment is stunning. It goes up and over the street and across to the other side, then down a long city street canyon above a martyr’s flag-covered casket. And there’s some exquisite infra-red b&w shots of sugarcane fields that are really beautiful – the plants turn luminescent white.
First 8 minutes of Manufactured Landscapes
Definitely Hunger — the shot with the priest, even though that’s stationary.
That one in “Funny Games” where she’s weeping, lying in front of the TV, trying to get it together. While I am also weeping in front of the TV, trying to get it together.
I don’t know if it’s the “best” but I just saw one episode from Nine Lives ( Rodrigo García, 2005). The cast includes: Kathy Baker, Amy Brenneman, Elpidia Carrillo, Glenn Close, Stephen Dillane, Dakota Fanning, etc.
I think that each of the nine episodes is a “oner,” a single long take with great camera movement.
Here’s the trailer (I hope):
Evil Dead 2 when Ash is chased through the house from the demon POV. The Protector with Tony Jaa has a crazy fight sequence thats all in one very impressive take. Alphaville had a couple neat tracking shots if I recall correctly.
Opening shot of Madame de
There’s a great 50 sec tracking shot in Sólo quiero caminar.
Surprised this one didn’t get mentioned. Snake Eyes.
De Palma cheated though, there are several hidden cuts. The first one is at 02:20.
The dinner sequence in 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days!
It aint Touch of Evil or anything, but the first time I really noticed a long take was in Sleeper when I was much younger – just a simple tracking shot of Woody Allen and Diane Keaton walking down a hallway talking, so that was kind of cool to be thinking “wow, they don’t cut for a while” at a young age
The dancing sequence in Satantango.
And that isn’t even the whole shot.
Well, I would argue that “Russian Ark” is pretty much unbeatable in this category.
The end of Caché. Haneke said in an interview that his friend loved that shot and waxed lyrical about it for 10 minutes; it turned out that his friend didn’t even see Pierrot and Majid’s son in the frame, that they were hidden in this crowded wide shot.
Yes, that is a tremendous long take, and with good reason for being a long take, beyond simply wanting to draw attention to itself as lesser directors might be tempted to do; the seamless blending of past, present, memories, change. And we see such seamlessness in Mizoguchi’s Ugetsu Monogatari, much admired by Angelopoulos, in which a ghostly apparition appears where we had just seen nothing, the more magical for not relying on cuts or special effects.
A great long take has its reasons beyond directorial ego. It can bring fluidity, a sense of a whole setting, people interacting within a wider environment, allowing for contemplation, concentration and scanning, without undue manipulation
War of the Worlds