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"I saw their production of Giselle in 1890. I cried like a baby. And I was evil!"
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April 08 2011

18 coolest movie long takes. Serenity makes it to number 17 in this Total Film list.

Outside Serenity, it's a tie between Goodfellas, Snake Eyes and Children of Men for my favourite long take.
Where the heck is "Russian Ark?" The entire movie is one long take, all 80 minutes of it- an amazing performance!

[ edited by Dana5140 on 2011-04-08 21:12 ]
@Dana5140 - *cough* No. 3 *cough*

I love a good long take and this list reminded me of so many good ones. Goodfellas definitely deserved to be number one for me, but a lot of the others are real classics too. Children of Men, The Player, Serenity, Atonement, all great stuff. And Rope is possibly my favourite of the Hitchcock films I've seen.

Also adds a couple of films to my list of must sees. Russian Ark and Timecode sound like interesting experiments.
The Player is my personal favorite example of a long take, but also very pleased to see Firefly and Goodfellas make the list. Several of these movies I haven't seen yet, so will have to add them to my Netflix queue!
There is a four minute take of a fight scene from the Tony Jaa movie, Tom Yum Goong. Criminal that it wasn't included on this list, especially with the inclusion of some other fight scenes. It's very impressive with the stunts and choreography. You can check it out on youtube by just searching "longest fight scene ever." The character is storming up a hotel. Awesome stuff.
Touch of Evil was only 13? That is one of the most amazing scenes ever, not just for the length but the complexity.

The scene from Atonement just seemed so . . . planned. I felt I could almost sense the various assistant directors running around cueing people to do this or that. I did not get that sense from Children of Men.

They didn't put in Hitchcock's finest long take, the amazing shot in Young and Innocent. I'm not personally a fan of Rope. I felt that the long takes were more or less gimmicks that didn't really facilitate the story. They were ends unto themselves.
The long take in Serenity belongs on this list, but what precedes it is even more amazing. I don't know what category you would put the beginning of the movie in, to include it in a "best of" list.

From the transformation of the Universal logo, to the school dream sequence, to the escape, to the Operative walking through the hologram, to the assassination and "Where are you going, little girl?" to the distance shot of the crew through the windows of the spaceship: a nested set of flashbacks, each filmed in a different style and mood, each crystal clear in its narrative and its relationship to what precedes it. It's a tour de force that ought to be taught in film school. I wonder why it isn't already famous.
How the heck did I miss #3? LOL.
I'm a huge fan of this stuff. The "oner" from Serenity is actually my favorite of any on this list that I've seen (about half). Well, at least tied with A Touch of Evil. Also loved the one from The Player.

I agree with Njal about Atonement, you could sense the planning behind it.

If they added TV shows, the opening shot from Conviction is hands down the best of TV long takes ever.

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