cutting on the action

photography and film – facts, ideas, values


Two previous posts in COTA on the long take:

Béla Tarr’s Long Takes (an education in film)

FILM Satantango (Sátántangó) by Béla Tarr {2}

More for my future reference than anything else, three posts in Big Other on the long take, including many Youtube examples. Most of these are not exclusively long takes, but contain them.

[1]  Top films of the decade by Greg Gerke  (Dec 19 2009)

[2]  Brevity, Part 2: Long Takes (January 8 2010)

by A D Jameson

[3]  Brevity, Part 3: Long Takes Continued (well, they’re long) (January 10 2010)

by A D Jameson

There is also

Top 15 amazing long takes

which includes Antonioni’s , The Passenger,  as does [2]


The Long Take

a post in Daily Film Dose, which includes a selection of YouTube long takes, and says:

The difficulty arises when the camera is forced to move which complicates the logistics ie. Focus changes, lighting changes and hiding production equipment.

An entry in filmreference:
Camera movement and the Long take

It would nice to see more discussion on the merits and demerits of the static long take compared to the tracking, panning, zooming one.

There is Mark le Fanu’s:

Metaphysics of the “long take”: some post-Bazinian reflections


Child of the long take: Alfonso Cuaron’s film aesthetics in the shadow of globalization by James Udden

which mentions le Fanu’s essay defending the long take and does a bit more than use Cuaron’s Children of Men [2006], including some quotable quotes such as:

[..] For Bazin, the long take is a principle means of directly linking the cinematic image with phenomenological reality, which the film medium can directly record. The long take supposedly ensures a truth of the spatial and temporal relations within that said reality. The long take allows the world to be seen as it is–objectively–without the imposition of the filmmaker’s world view, which occurs when one edits and thus manipulates cinematic time and space. And according to Bazin, this in turn this offers the possibility of revealing the ambiguity of the world before we impose our ideas on it.

In The Long Take: Finding Hope Amongst the Chaos, Bryan Nixon deals specifically with The Children of Men and the long take. (i.e. no diversions into Bazinland!)

Two film posts

[1] The Long Take that Kills:Tarkovsky’s rejection of montage
Benjamin Halligan

[2] Girish’s post The Long Take

are already linked to in a previous post in COTA:

FILM Satantango (Sátántangó) by Béla Tarr {2}

Other sources

Pier Paolo Pasolini – Observations on the long take [1967]

Toward a synthesis of cinema – a theory of the long take moving camera, Part 1

Toward a synthesis of cinema – a theory of the long take moving camera, Part 2


David George Menard

Orson Welles, Gregg Toland and the Long Take
Ned Casey

The Mobile Mise en scene by Lutz Bacher
GoogleBook of Intro and chapter 1 [67 pages].

Time Lost or Spent or Not Yet Had: An Argument For the Long Take
Brett Mccracken

Slow Cinema & The Long Take
A. V. Cheshire

Notes on the Fetishism of the Long Take in Rope
Jean-Pierre Coursodon

Re-viewing Mizoguchi, Master Choreographerof the Long Take
Freda Freiberg

The Long Take: Finding Hope Amongst the Chaos
Bryan Nixon

In praise of the long take
John Patterson

April 7, 2010 - Posted by | long take |

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