There have been numerous times that directors left "conventional editing" on the cutting room floor in their movie and really tried to impress the viewers by pushing the envelope in terms of long takes.
So here are our favourite extended shots in cinema:
Joe Wright's war-torn romance drama was fantastic for several reasons. But when he dropped in this extended tracking shot of James McAvoy walking around the crazed remains of Dunkirk, everyone sat up and took notice that this was a film-maker to be reckoned with.
CHILDREN OF MEN
A modern sci-fi classic from director Alfonso Cuaron (who also directed 'Gravity'), this movie features a longer tracking shot towards the end. However it's this car-bound one that was truly amazing. Again, it used special effects to cheat it a little, but you really can't tell where the joins are. Never has the inside of a mini-van felt so big and suddenly so small. You can watch the scene here but be warned, it's graphic.
Also known as The Cococabana Shot, this is Martin Scorsese at his most Martin Scorsese-y. This was a template of character development and storytelling that has since been used in everything from 'The Birdcage' to 'Snake Eyes' to 'Boogie Nights'. You probably never even realised it was happening in the first place.
John Woo through the gauntlet down to Hollywood and showed that fast-paced action didn't need fast-paced editing (something that Michael Bay has yet to pay any heed to). Woo would go on to make the likes of 'Broken Arrow' and 'Face/Off'. However he never bettered this hospital-set action sequence.
The first pairing of Michael Fassbender and director Steve McQueen (they'd hook up again for 'Shame' and the upcoming '12 Years A Slave'), this shot put both actor and director to the test. One long, unbroken conversation between inmate and priest blurs the lines between what is considered cinema and theatre. An acting masterclass, with film-making showing off by taking a back seat.
I AM CUBA
Skip forward to 1.43 in the above video, and watch as the camera starts off as a close-up on a woman's face. It then shoots several stories up along the wall of an apartment building,. After that it zips sideways INTO a neighbouring building, passes a group of men busy at work at their desks, then back out the window, above the funeral procession, and downwards to the street. Amazing.
We're not actually going to give you a link to this scene. It is all too disturbing, and we don't want to be getting complaints. But if you think you're up for it, the opening scene of this highly controversial movie takes place in a gay sex club called The Rectum, and it is like a descent into hell. The nauseating camerawork, disorientating soundtrack, and sudden, shocking scenes of violence make it an extremely difficult watch. It's made worse when you realise that the movie has just started and there is much, MUCH worse to come.
Also known as The Hallway Fight Scene, or more succinctly, The Hammer Scene. Shoot like an old school side-scrolling beat-em'up, this finds the hero(?) of the movie taking on dozens of bad guys armed with nothing more than a hammer and a total lack of personal well-being. The upcoming remake has a lot to live up to!
This movie is basically a love letter to Russian History, but the reason we didn't include the actual extended shot in this movie, because the shot IS the movie. The ENTIRE movie is one long shot, and at 99 minutes, is both a technical marvel and full on cinematic history.
TOUCH OF EVIL
Anyone who has ever studied cinema, or anyone with even a passing love of the medium, will know all about this extended shot. The grand-daddy of all of the examples listed above, it starts with a ticking bomb, ends with an explosion, and has three minutes and a half minutes of pure tension in between.