Thursday, January 6, 2011

Single Coolest Tracking Shot in the History of Movies

The first couple of minutes of this scene from the classic war film The Longest Day (1962) is done with such visual skill and artistry that it can take your breath away. Not only does it look magnificent, but it also serves a clear storytelling purpose. It sets up the tactical situation perfectly, letting us know exactly what's going on in terms of the battle. We understand the geography of the battlefield and exactly what the Free French unit is trying to accomplish.

I've whined about this sort of thing before:  I wish more modern directors would learn to develop this sort of skill and leave aside the chaotic and uninteresting action/battle sequences with which we are usually saddled  in contemporary films.

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