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(Mental Floss)   The 13 most famous unbroken takes in movies. Yes, the Goodfellas Copacabana scene is holding steady(cam) at #1   (mentalfloss.com ) divider line
    More: Interesting, movies, Goodfellas Copacabana, humans, John Woo, Paul Thomas Anderson, James McAvoy, Saint Petersburg, Boogie Nights  
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8313 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 17 May 2014 at 11:24 AM (2 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-05-17 10:07:56 AM  
As awesome as the longer shots in Children of Men are, some of them, including one cited, were actually edited together. They're still technical masterpieces, especially the car, because they rigged a special car to have parts move out of the way so they could move the camera around.

Great camera work and planning, but still not a single take.

Probably the neatest long-take bit is the battle scene near the end. Fake blood accidentally hits the lens, but they keep filming, and slowly digitally edit the blood out as the scene continues.

And missing from the list:

Strange Days with the extended SQUID shots.
 
2014-05-17 10:45:56 AM  
OK - the Goodfellas Copacaban shot is impressive, yes.  But I don't think it's fair to compare a 3-minute shot with a 90 minute film all done in one shot.  Royal Ark is actually not bad, but it's the technical virtuosity is amazing.  To my mind, it's pretty obviously the best long shot, both for length and for what happens in it.
 
2014-05-17 10:46:33 AM  
Russian Ark.  Damn.  What happened there?
 
2014-05-17 10:47:41 AM  

Sid_6.7: And missing from the list:

Strange Days with the extended SQUID shots.


fark that, this moron hasn't ever seen Snake Eyes?
 
2014-05-17 11:38:03 AM  
List fails without the Oldboy hammer scene. The original one, not the dumb remake.
 
2014-05-17 11:40:09 AM  

Lsherm: Sid_6.7: And missing from the list:

Strange Days with the extended SQUID shots.

fark that, this moron hasn't ever seen Snake Eyes?


Came here to say Snake Eyes and Time Code.

Time Code is 4 inter-playing single unbroken takes. They were shot at the same time and then played in a 4-way split screen.  I saw it a long time ago, don't remember much of the plot, but the technical skill in making it impressed the hell out of me.
 
2014-05-17 11:43:21 AM  

Benevolent Misanthrope: Russian Ark.  Damn.  What happened there?


Movie's farkin boring and bad so they shot it in one take so people on the internet would love it and overrate it even though they've never seen it
 
2014-05-17 11:52:56 AM  

falcon176: Benevolent Misanthrope: Russian Ark.  Damn.  What happened there?

Movie's farkin boring and bad so they shot it in one take so people on the internet would love it and overrate it even though they've never seen it


I thought it wasn't that bad. It wasn't great, like Goodfellas, but it wasn't cringe-worthy or anything.
 
2014-05-17 11:53:35 AM  

the dizzle: Time Code is 4 inter-playing single unbroken takes. They were shot at the same time and then played in a 4-way split screen.  I saw it a long time ago, don't remember much of the plot, but the technical skill in making it impressed the hell out of me.


It was a logisitical accomplishment, definitely, but not really a technical (in the sense of camerawork or blocking) one. The are places in each of the four scenes where a cameraman is out of position for the scene or has to make sudden movements to bring something into frame, whichyou wouldn't get in a meticulously-planned shorter shot. Admittedly, it's hard to plan out every second of 4 interlocking 90-minute shots, but that's why I say its big achievement was a logistical one, not a camerawork one.

And the narrative, feh. We spend 15 minutes watching a woman in the back of a limo listen to something on headphones. It's a good trick to get you to focus on the more important scenes elsewhere, but it was kind of a cheat.
 
2014-05-17 11:54:45 AM  
I gotta get to the movies more often. I've only seen one of those. 'Course it was the number 1 one.
 
2014-05-17 11:54:45 AM  

falcon176: Movie's farkin boring


It's  Russian. Russians love boring movies.
 
2014-05-17 11:56:53 AM  
I'm pretty de-sensitized these days, but watching the Dunkirk scene from Atonement makes the room pretty dusty.
 
2014-05-17 11:58:48 AM  
Glad Hard Boiled was here.
 
2014-05-17 12:04:35 PM  
Missing from the list:

Reservoir Dogs
 
2014-05-17 12:04:38 PM  
I have an over sixty minute unbroken take of Goo Goo Dolls live in concert on my cell phone.

Big whoop.
 
2014-05-17 12:05:54 PM  
No opening of Gravity?
 
2014-05-17 12:06:12 PM  
I'd like to nominate "Reservoir Dogs" when Mr. blonde goes outside to grab the gas can from the trunk of the car.
 
2014-05-17 12:07:31 PM  
Ive seen similar lists to this 100s of times (Goodfellas always being #1) and dont really understand why it's so significant and why people cream their jeans over it.  Please help me understand.
 
2014-05-17 12:13:31 PM  

Lsherm: Sid_6.7: And missing from the list:

Strange Days with the extended SQUID shots.

fark that, this moron hasn't ever seen Snake Eyes?


Came here to say Snake Eyes, leaving satisfied.
 
2014-05-17 12:14:20 PM  
img.ksl.com
excuse us?

also, didn't we all have this discussion after the True Dectective shot?
 
2014-05-17 12:15:27 PM  

Gunderson: I'd like to nominate "Reservoir Dogs" when Mr. blonde goes outside to grab the gas can from the trunk of the car.


Yes. that's one is especially awesome because of the interior lighting / bright day thing. I still don't know how he did that.
 
2014-05-17 12:23:00 PM  

DemoKnite: Ive seen similar lists to this 100s of times (Goodfellas always being #1) and dont really understand why it's so significant and why people cream their jeans over it.  Please help me understand.


They're the filmmaking equivalent of elaborate domino setups or rube goldberg machines.  Tons of planning and prep and failed attempts - but with perseverance everything rolls out perfectly and the need for editing is removed.

Filmmakers and filmmaker wannabes cream their jeans.  It's kind of underwhelming to average movie-goers.
 
2014-05-17 12:25:21 PM  

Courtney Love's Genital Warts: [img.ksl.com image 600x385]
excuse us?

also, didn't we all have this discussion after the True Dectective shot?


There is a cut when Mal goes down the stairs.
 
2014-05-17 12:33:53 PM  

DemoKnite: Ive seen similar lists to this 100s of times (Goodfellas always being #1) and dont really understand why it's so significant and why people cream their jeans over it.  Please help me understand.


The reason Goodfellas always stands in at #1 is because it was shot with tons of extras, moving up and down stairs, through a working kitchen and appears all in real time.  It is very fluid and life like, a fly on the wall perspective of a young low level mob mechanic.
 
2014-05-17 12:37:43 PM  
I saw this Mexican movie years ago called La Tarea.  I think it had something like four cuts.  Very impressive even if a small, personal film.
 
2014-05-17 12:46:05 PM  
I really prefer the toy train chase scene in "The Wrong Trousers" with Wallace & Gromit.  One of the most exciting scenes in film, and I think done all in one shot.
 
2014-05-17 01:06:32 PM  
I did post production work on GoodFellas and worked with D.P. Michael Ballhaus who said one of the reasons that shot was so tricky was because the people standing outside waiting to get into the club, then had to rush in and become the occupants who were seemingly already in the club, before the camera went into the room.
 
2014-05-17 01:06:37 PM  

Billy Liar: I really prefer the toy train chase scene in "The Wrong Trousers" with Wallace & Gromit.  One of the most exciting scenes in film, and I think done all in one shot.


Considering it's stop-motion, that's a heckuva trick.
 
2014-05-17 01:07:31 PM  
No Oldboy?
 
2014-05-17 01:14:25 PM  
Fast end to end!
 
2014-05-17 01:15:06 PM  
Whoops wrong thread
 
2014-05-17 01:15:11 PM  

Vash's Apprentice: Billy Liar: I really prefer the toy train chase scene in "The Wrong Trousers" with Wallace & Gromit.  One of the most exciting scenes in film, and I think done all in one shot.

Considering it's stop-motion, that's a heckuva trick.


SHHH don't break the illusion
 
2014-05-17 01:20:55 PM  

PhDemented: No Oldboy?


Good call.
 
2014-05-17 01:33:34 PM  
www.movieposter.com
 
2014-05-17 01:33:38 PM  
List fails without "The Longest Day."
 
2014-05-17 01:37:03 PM  
Notable for its unbrokeness, if not its length, is the scene in Citizen Kane when the camera passes through a window in Kane's childhood home.
 
2014-05-17 01:45:35 PM  

Sid_6.7: Strange Days with the extended SQUID shots.


I remember seeing that movie at a screening and being a bit awed by that first SQUID shot.
 
2014-05-17 01:54:56 PM  
It's not a very good movie, but the opening shot of Shock Treatment is pretty cool.
 
2014-05-17 02:01:30 PM  
CQ. CQ. This is W9GFO, come back.

/although not actually a 'take', it's still damn good
 
2014-05-17 02:05:55 PM  

falcon176: Benevolent Misanthrope: Russian Ark.  Damn.  What happened there?

Movie's farkin boring and bad so they shot it in one take so people on the internet would love it and overrate it even though they've never seen it


It's great if you want to know about Russian history.
 
2014-05-17 02:10:03 PM  

DigitalCoffee: CQ. CQ. This is W9GFO, come back.

/although not actually a 'take', it's still damn good


Jodoworsky planned the reverse of that scene in his version of Dune. The film would have started outside the galaxy, and then moved in to the house Atreides ship, all in one take.
 
2014-05-17 02:27:12 PM  
Absolute Beginners, directed by Julian Temple, starts with a great tracking shot.
 
2014-05-17 02:32:15 PM  
I've always liked this extended crane shot from the Longest Day:  http://youtu.be/3eZMkleDjWI
 
2014-05-17 02:39:03 PM  

Badmoodman: I did post production work on GoodFellas and worked with D.P. Michael Ballhaus who said one of the reasons that shot was so tricky was because the people standing outside waiting to get into the club, then had to rush in and become the occupants who were seemingly already in the club, before the camera went into the room.


Why did they do that? It wasn't exactly a small budget movie. Couldn't they have afforded a few more extras?
 
2014-05-17 03:05:29 PM  
 
2014-05-17 03:14:27 PM  

skot11: *Steadicam

http://www.steadicam.com/



No kidding? Really?

"Steady(cam)" makes a better headline.
 
2014-05-17 03:21:49 PM  

frestcrallen: DemoKnite: Ive seen similar lists to this 100s of times (Goodfellas always being #1) and dont really understand why it's so significant and why people cream their jeans over it.  Please help me understand.

They're the filmmaking equivalent of elaborate domino setups or rube goldberg machines.  Tons of planning and prep and failed attempts - but with perseverance everything rolls out perfectly and the need for editing is removed.

Filmmakers and filmmaker wannabes cream their jeans.  It's kind of underwhelming to average movie-goers.


As someone who thoroughly enjoyed the movie and saw it several times before I saw these lists, it was totally lost on me.  So yes I am the average movie goer.  Glad the film nerds enjoyed it.  Something for everyone I suppose.
 
2014-05-17 03:42:06 PM  
Brian DePalma has done some good ones.  The opening to "Snake Eyes" is pretty impressive.
 
2014-05-17 03:56:26 PM  

AppleChill: No opening of Gravity?


There's nothing terribly impressive about an unbroken take that's entirely CGI. I'm not even sure you can call it a take.
 
2014-05-17 04:05:56 PM  
The kitchen scene from Goodfellas had to take days just to light.
 
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