There have been a lot of great long takes throughout the years. Ophüls’ La Ronde, and Scorsese’s Goodfellas are just a few flicks that have some incredible shots worthy of admiration.
Here’s a few:
What is your favorite and why?
Boogie Nights, Irreversible, and Children of Men have my admiration.
Most Bela Tarr stuff, specially his last one The Turin Horse.
I’m going to go with the club scene in Collateral.
Russian Ark, the whole movie is one big sequence shot. Come and See has my attention too, same with many Tarkovsky films. The Russians are just great with keeping the camera rolling.
Oh, single shot. I read “sequence” and thought that meant sequence as in “sequence of shots”.
In that case, I change my answer to Elephant. Can’t really top Harris Savides’ technical skills.
Russian Ark was filmed in one single take, but utilized a sequence shot for the 96 minute take. I Am Cuba also employs one of the greatest steadicams I have seen. Ironically, another Russian directed film.
The corridor fight scene in Oldboy is pretty impressive. The whole scene isn’t one shot but the fight he has from one end of the corridor to the other is. It’s the most credible execution of one man taking on a gang I’ve seen in a movie because the confined space he fights them in stops the gang from fully utilizing their extra numbers.
The continuous take that concludes Carlos Reygadas’ Japón is pretty impressive. That it is set to Arvo Part’s Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten is all the better…
Nostalghia’s 10min Candle-walking scene
Soy Cuba’s long shot down a hotel into the pool
Goodbye Dragon Inn’s long static shot on people pissing.
Anything Bela Tarr.
still one of my all time fav’s.
The date sequence from McQueen’s Shame was probably the best one I saw in 2011.
^yeah, from an acting standpoint, that scene was awesome
Hard Boiled hospital scene is one of my favorites.
I really liked the opening scenes to The Player and Boogie Nights. I like getting this quick, yet fluid (maybe not the best word choice) introduction to a lot of the key characters with this type of shot, and they typically instantly get me involved in the narrative.
I agree. Although the ending was a frustrating joke, Snake Eyes from Brian DePalma has a 17 or so minute opening sequence that does more introduction of character and plot than most end up doing in a whole film.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-N7Zo8LwXSA L’Avventura Final Scene
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwG-017kqQ8 Breathless, second scene
Nobody’s mentioned the end of the Passenger yet?
Second shot here.
^ Oh that Breaking News opening is incredible! Almost forgot about that one.
Breaking News is one of the best. Love it.
Park Row – one shot- run out of a bar and into the street, kick someone’s ass, run into a rival’s office, tell them off, run back into the street then into your own office, gather the troops and make a plan. THAT’s Acting! It’s also good and rugged for such an elaborate shot.
for what it’s worth, I value a perfect sequence of shots over a single long take… there is something magical when a sequence of shots overcomes the inherent clumsiness of cutting. When each shot logically leads to the next and there are no inserts or back tracking or “coverage” shots to mask continuity issues. Where are you, Hitchcock?
Long takes are so pleasurable, such a treat. I always get a thrill when, watching a scene, the point where you realize it’s becoming one -. I get a kind of cinematic high. It’s choreography.
And they don’t always have to be long, MOVING shots. The visitation between Bobby Sands and the priest in “Hunger” is just as powerful and impressive as most choreographed camera movements.
Yet again, Mizoguchi is overlooked. That’s cos he didn’t draw attention to himself so much.
Dunkirk Scene Atonement
Atonement’s Dunkirk scene is pretty impressive, but I can’t disagree with the criticisms that it ends up shifting the focus of the scene from the soldiers, the malaise and the ‘brutality of war’ etc (part of the crux of the whole film) to merely the filmmaking being put on display.
More recently, this sequence from Tintin (yes, technically it’s animated, but it’s still pretty incredible):
(Single take starts from 1:04)
Also, lots of good suggestions (unmentioned here) from this older thread.
Just remembered this one from Zhang Yimou’s most recent film, and which is also pretty good:
(From 0:20 onwards)