Single Shot: The Long Take

Here are some shining examples of movie directors’ attempts to shoot an entire feature film in one continuous take. Because of the overwhelming technical difficulties involved, there may be some “hidden cuts” here and there. Another example is a movie called Russian Ark, but I do not remember loving that one.

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014) is directed by Alejandro G. Iñárritu. Birdman is certainly one of the top films of 2014 and is what I refer to as a pay-off movie. An established actor is immersed in his new project while reflecting on the past and contemplating his future. All of the acting is top-notch, and the filmmaking is truly incredible. Every actor should see this, and if you stick it out, it pays off for the masses.

Victoria (2015)

Victoria (2015)

(2015) is directed by Sebastian Schipper. A Spanish club girl meets up with a group of German muchachos in Berlin, and they commence to combing the evening streets together. Her openness for adventure plunges her into their convoluted world. The pace is mostly swift, and it is captivating.

Rope (1948)

Rope (1948)

(1948) is directed by Alfred Hitchcock. It is a dinner-party murder mystery, which is inspired by real-life “crime of the century” villains Leopold and Loeb. Because reels of film only lasted approximately 10 minutes, the hidden cuts are mostly found in darkened close-ups on the backs of actors’ jackets, allowing for seamless transitions.


About the Author

Norbert made Murfreesboro, Tenn., his home in 1997. He conceived the Living Room Cinema column in 2006, and submits them regularly to the Murfreesboro Pulse. Aside from his love of films, Norbert is also an avid photographer. He is the very proud father of two, he beats on an old guitar, and plays a dicey game of Chess at best. Like Living Room Cinema at facebook.com/livingroomcinema.

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