Another year, another movie thread! Come in here to talk about movies you’ve seen over the holiday break, what movies you’re excited for, and other sorts of movie discussions!
Today’s prompt, in honor of a Golden Globes winner that’s hitting general release this weekend: What is your favorite “one shot” feature film or long take scene?
In 1917, Sam Mendes (Skyfall) works with legendary cinematographer Roger Deakins (Fargo, True Grit, The Shawshank Redemption). Together, they filmed a series of long takes to make the movie appear as if it were done in one continuous shot. The camera follows two young British soldiers as they attempt to navigate No Man’s Land and witness World War I from the ground level.
This style of film is the “one shot”. It is hardly the first example. For that, you would have to go all the way back to 1948 with Alfred Hitchcock’s crime thriller, Rope.
It’s not even the only example to win an award. Russian Ark, a one-shot film that spanned 300 years of Russian history, took home several awards at film festivals. (Roger Ebert: “This is one of the best-sustained ideas I have ever seen on the screen.”)
Most prominently, Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) won Best Picture at the 87th Academy Awards, besting Grand Budapest Hotel, American Sniper, Boyhood, The Imitation Game, Selma, The Theory of Everything, and Whiplash.
Other films in this genre include cult favorite Timecode and the Elizabeth Olsen horror film Silent House. This style of filmmaking has been gaining momentum in recent years, perhaps now that we have the technology (specifically the digital camera) to make a series of long takes look like a single one take now.