The Greatest Long Tracking Shots in Cinema

Daily Film Dose takes a look at The Long Shot:

In a director’s cinematic bag of tricks the long tracking shot is the boldest way of making a statement. It’s the flashiest and most attention-grabbing egotistical way of flexing one’s muscle. In most cases it’s a narcissistic maneuver, “look-at-me” filming technique, but rare ones, the best ones, serve to reflect and further the story in a way that can’t be reflected with traditional editing.

Let’s examine specifically the long ‘tracking’ take which involves extensive and complicated movements of the camera. The fact is filmmakers have been doing long takes since the medium was invented. In fact the first films didn’t have any edits. Perhaps the first most notable film to use long unedited takes for storytelling purposes was Alfred Hitchcock’s “Rope” (1948) which was an entire film shot in real time created by seamless cutting together a series of long 8-10 mins shots made to look like one. In 1948 it was a bold and unprecedented experiment for Hitchcock. The film works because its takes place entirely in one room for 80 minutes, so there was limited movement and lighting changes.

(via Metafilter)

1 Comment

  1. There is a very famous Hungarian director, Miklos Jancso, whose signature “trick” (one of them) is also long shots in his early movies (60’s). There might be even a longer one than Hitchcock’s, but I am not sure (lazy to check it out, sorry). If not, it has to be close (in time) as far as I remember.

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