Colombian film “P.V.C.-1” also consists of one single, long take. Not as impressive as Russian Ark, but worth mentioning.
Philippe Garrel’s Le lit de la vierge features some beautiful tracking shots. For example the riding scene with Pierre Clémenti at the beginning of the film.
Another Garrel film that comes to mind is La Cicatrice Intérieure (the whole film consists of no more than 23 camera shots in total).
Trying not to repeat others I’ll say the first 17 minutes of Snake Eyes.
I’ll add another one that hasn’t been mentioned: the opening shot of Johnnie To’s Breaking News.
the already quoted beginning of path of glory.
Another one is the scene after the dead of the main characters’ son in funny games (by haneke, maybe better the american version, just for the better colors of the film).
the start-scene of Stalker
I don’t know if anyone said the entrance of the Copa Cabana (I think it’s called) in Goodfellas. And while Russian Ark was technically impressive, the plot left much to be desired.
“[…] And while Russian Ark was technically impressive, the plot left much to be desired.”
Perhaps it’s the problem of (almost) all movies of sokurov…
Allegory by Kostas Sfikas..something unknown but superbly done…hope all of u get the chance to find this…heavily experimental take on Christian malady and the fall of paganism…breathtaking in 2 hours..
Touch of Evil, The Tenant, and The Player aside (they’re the pantheon), but I’d include these…
I don’t know if it’s done in ONE shot, but the count room scene in Casino is stunning.
I love the opening of The Shining (on the big screen it’s dizzying).
Most of Herog’s Fata Morgana
Sissy Spacek in the shower in Carrie (yikes!)
It might be said that the very greatest artists don’t draw attention to themselves so much, their camerawork can be of the highest order but less ostentatious, fitting and serving a whole rounded work. Mizoguchi anyone? Kostas Sfikas sounds interesting, Dmitris.
The Opening to Mabrouk El Mechri’s “JCVD”
“It’s very difficult for me to do everything in one shot. You know I’m 47-years old.” -Jean Claude Van Damme, JCVD
Tarantino has some fine tracking shots in his films from Jackie Browns opening tracking shot following Pam Grier to Bruce Willis in Pulp Fiction to the magnificent sequence with Uma Thurman being tracked through out the club in Kill Bill volume. 1.
@JOSH RYAN: You’re right: It took balls to shoot that extended fight scene in one take. But the REAL balls were worn by the stuntmen, many of whom I assume ended up in the hospital! Even with breakaway furniture and glass props, several of those guys fell a couple of stories.
Let me add another long take with moving camera: the next-to-last shot of Antonioni’s THE PASSENGER, in which the camera starts on Jack Nicholson’s sleeping form and gradually moves forward through the grillwork of a window, into the courtyard and ends up facing in on Nicholson’s dead body. (I’m leaving out all of the details to avoid spoiling it for people who haven’t seen it.) One interesting thing about the shot is that, seen from above, it traces the shape of the Greek letter OMEGA, which is a shape re-echoed in the facade of the bullring across the way. (The cars that drive by trace the Greek letter ALPHA.) I interviewed Antonioni years ago and he explained how he managed to achieve this shot — before the invention of the Steadicam.
By the way, the next shot, the final image of the film, is also a long take. It follows a car for a while and then holds on a view of the hotel at sundown while all the credits roll.
oh yes that shot in The Passenger feels miraculous and liberating and then surprising; inspired and brilliantly executed, what a way to produce such a revelation. I wasn’t even aware of the Omega shape. And the ending is very beautiful too. You can see Antonioni’s zest for life- far from weary ennui- in that film.
Breaking News was a worthy mention, but I would say Hard Boiled, just with the level of choreography and the amount of pyro going off. Not to mention that they managed to re-set the entire set in under a minute during this long take, pretty amazing.
The Heist sequence in Gun Crazy, one single shot from inside the car.
But the best are aforementioned The Passenger and Goodfellas, and of course Touch of Evil.
Taste of Cherry and Ten
Those two movies are basically composed of tracking shots, tricky ones but tracking shots none the less.
And as mentioned before The Sacrifice, Childern of Men and Ran.
The tracking shot in The Sacrifice is a miracle. I have yet to see one that is as impossible as that one. All the rest just take a little planning.
I Am Cuba has some really impressive tracking shots in it. Just watched it last night, and the number of tracking shots really stood out to me.
Touch of Evil
The Protector (just based on that link from Josh, haven’t seen the movie)
The Sopranos:Season 3 (Furio collects some cash in a massage parlor)
Noting Philippe Garrel was a fine call.
The Passenger. Ineffable.
One of the earliest, if not the earliest: Murnau’s Sunrise (1927!), the walk of the man towards his mistresshttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3zbEoyG02Hw
In Japon, the tracking shot at the mmmh… tracks.
The suspense filled tracking shot across the lobby to the drummer’s eye in Hitchcock’s “Young and Innocent.” Also the tracking shot to the key in “Notorious.”
Children of Men
Touch of Evil
There’s one that always sticks in my mind. When Janos goes to see the whale for the first time in Werckmeister Harmonies it follows him outside the camp where the followers of The Prince are then it follows him up to and onto the platform where the whale is held. Impressive feat.
the end shot (2nd to the end) of Antonioni’s, the Passenger.
No one really seems to be mentioning Russian Ark (maybe i missed them), now that was a stunning technical achievment.The orchestration of all those extras is, to me at least, is absolutley mind blowing. Or Alfred Hitchcock’s Frenzy when Ann Massey’s character enters the killers apartment and the camera pulls back down the staircase and out the door. By the time the camera exits the building you know shes dead, a pretty chilling use of a long tracking shot.
Absolute Beginners – the beginning with so much going on
Atonement – (even if only it was filmed where i work)
Hard Boiled “Two minutes, forty-two seconds”.
And the aforementioned Passenger ending.
’Russian Ark" is pretty unbeatable in terms of one continuing shot, because of the immense logistics involved. Had it been a simple two-actor drama in a confined area, you could say it still earned a lot of respect for doing it, but “RA” ups the ante much further.
To transverse the entire Hermitage, with many, many extras, orchestras, incredible lavish scenes, and so on, is an achievement beyond belief.
One can quibble about the dramatic side of the film, but from a cinematic angle I think it’s going to be a long time before anyone tries to top that.
Tillman Buttner who shot it certainly has earned his place in film history.