WaPo Whitewashes 800,000 Childhood Deaths Every Year As Merely "Numerous Deaths" | Main | Immigration News
May 21, 2007

Hollywood's Greatest Long Takes

With lots of video at Daily Film Dose.

Oldboy's hammer-fight sequence:

Hard-Boiled's hospital shootout:

And of course Serenity's single-hidden-cut introduction to the ship and crew:

Other ones -- real classics, not the guns & robots fare I favor -- at the link.

Meh. I've never gotten the appeal of the long take. The thing is, it's an incredibly difficult thing to do, costing loads of money, and yet it always looks kind of fake and feels slow (you suddenly realize how important editing is to pacing) and it adds nothing at all to a movie from a viewer's perspetive. In fact, it detracts from it, the moment you realize you're watching a long take. It calls attention to movie-making artifice rather than to the story being told.

So, basically, it's crap guys like DePalma do to show off for their friends.

I'm annoyed that that gorgeous long pulling back helicopter shot from the end of Lethal Weapon II isn't on there. Sure, the movie was crap, and the shot was hardly as difficult as a lot of the ones this guy features -- heck, it's just a stupid helicopter pulling back and back and back -- but it's marvelous. Only reason to watch that movie.

They don't have it on YouTube, so the closest I can come is Speed Racer with the "Cheer Down" Harrison song from LW2's closing credits/tracking shot.

So, like, imagine instead of a cartoon, it's film, and instead of the Mach 5, it's the LA docks at sunrise. That's pretty much the shot.

Another big tracking shot he didn't include is the split-screen double-long-take-turning-into-one-scene in the not terribly good Rules of Attraction. It went like this: Follow a guy on the right side of the screen, follow the girl on the left side. A single take for both as they go through their morning routines. The both meet at a message-board in a college building at which point, voila, it stops being split screen and they're both in the same scene together.

They spent a nontrivial fraction the film's budget on that one shot, plus they had to get a lot more money post-production to fix a technical error made during it. They were so proud of the little trick.

Impact on the viewer: Almost nil. You only even begin to appreciate it, from a technical standpoint, watching the commentary (and you only appreciate the difficulty of it because what seemed like it should be easy was expensively botched), but even with some appreciation for it, you can't help asking the obvious questions, "You spent how much money on this one stupid shot? Were you high and/or temporarily retarded when you made this decision?"

Oh, Here It Is: I guess I misremembered. It's only a "long take" before the split screens meld, and it's not a very long take at that.

digg this
posted by Ace at 12:14 PM

| Access Comments

Recent Comments
irongrampa: "@  326  In that event you'll see aneurys ..."

Carpe Manana: "I'm sure this is clear by MSM standards, but what ..."

blaster: "F ..."

That deplorable guy who always says...: "willowed again ..."

Gwyneth Paltrow: ">>>Every normal boy must be tempted at times to sp ..."

Chi-Town Jerry: "IMPEACH HIM NOW!!! ..."

DanMan: "I have a nutty lib sister in Virginia. Her daught ..."

Hikaru: "360 Yeah, those were the Bad Old Days, when such o ..."

Lizzy[/i]: "Yikes, Bruce Bawer at PJMedia: []I live only tw ..."

SSBN 656 (G): "Next week our local AM talk guy in on vacation, th ..."

Lowfibass: "Nood! ..."

Hrothgarevitch BOT [/i][/b][/u][/s]: "[i]Yeah, those were the Bad Old Days, when such ..."

Recent Entries

Polls! Polls! Polls!
Frequently Asked Questions
The (Almost) Complete Paul Anka Integrity Kick
Top Top Tens
Greatest Hitjobs

The Ace of Spades HQ Sex-for-Money Skankathon
A D&D Guide to the Democratic Candidates
Margaret Cho: Just Not Funny
More Margaret Cho Abuse
Margaret Cho: Still Not Funny
Iraqi Prisoner Claims He Was Raped... By Woman
Wonkette Announces "Morning Zoo" Format
John Kerry's "Plan" Causes Surrender of Moqtada al-Sadr's Militia
World Muslim Leaders Apologize for Nick Berg's Beheading
Michael Moore Goes on Lunchtime Manhattan Death-Spree
Milestone: Oliver Willis Posts 400th "Fake News Article" Referencing Britney Spears
Liberal Economists Rue a "New Decade of Greed"
Artificial Insouciance: Maureen Dowd's Word Processor Revolts Against Her Numbing Imbecility
Intelligence Officials Eye Blogs for Tips
They Done Found Us Out, Cletus: Intrepid Internet Detective Figures Out Our Master Plan
Shock: Josh Marshall Almost Mentions Sarin Discovery in Iraq
Leather-Clad Biker Freaks Terrorize Australian Town
When Clinton Was President, Torture Was Cool
What Wonkette Means When She Explains What Tina Brown Means
Wonkette's Stand-Up Act
Wankette HQ Gay-Rumors Du Jour
Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
My Own Micah Wright Style Confession of Dishonesty
Outraged "Conservatives" React to the FMA
An On-Line Impression of Dennis Miller Having Sex with a Kodiak Bear
The Story the Rightwing Media Refuses to Report!
Our Lunch with David "Glengarry Glen Ross" Mamet
The House of Love: Paul Krugman
A Michael Moore Mystery (TM)
The Dowd-O-Matic!
Liberal Consistency and Other Myths
Kepler's Laws of Liberal Media Bias
John Kerry-- The Splunge! Candidate
"Divisive" Politics & "Attacks on Patriotism" (very long)
The Donkey ("The Raven" parody)
Powered by
Movable Type 2.64