Film Analysis: NIGHT ON EARTH
Course evaluations

Supplemental material: on pacing

I've added a link to the excerpt from Goodfellas (1991) we watched in class this week, as well as a link to a compilation of long takes from Children of Men (2007) and a discussion of David Bordwell's analysis of Average Shot Length (ASL) in films over time.

Go to the supplemental timeline.

Comments

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Josh Noble

I watched the video on Children of Men. I've seen the film several time before but I was surprised at how many long shots I hadn't noticed. The extended shot length works to creating a more compelling atmosphere. The film as a whole is very depressing; I think it's achieved in large through the cinematography and long takes. If anyone is interested, two other famous long takes (also establishing shots) can be found in the opening of Orson Welles's Touch of Evil (1958) and Robert Altman's The Player (1992).

RobElmer

I agree with how long shots create a compelling atmosphere. My first introduction to really long shots was actually through the television drama "The West Wing" there they would have very long, highly verbose scenes that carried from one set onto another.

Karl Amspacher

I think that long shots in film have a place, even if shot length is decreasing. Giving the viewer a chance to see what is going on in the frame instead of being barraged with new shots adds value to the rest of the film.

Katlyn Sylvia

Although I can see the cinematic value of long shots, it prevents me from ever being fully comfortable with the scenes. The long shots make me uncomfortable, and I don't know if that is because what the director intends, or because of what I am used to as a viewer. Insight?

Lucas Ashland

After we watched Stranger than Paradise and talked about the long take, one of the first movies I thought about was Children of Men so I was glad that we ended up talking about it in class. Children of Men was one of the few movies that I've seen multiple times in theater. For me, the long take makes me feel more involved with the movie because I start to feel like I am actually there watching the action unfolding. We also talked about the shaky, hand-held film cameras in class and how the effect of shaky looking film makes the movie seem like it was being played in the news or something like that. I don't think it is a superior way of filming or arranging a movie, but I felt like it was the perfect artist choice for the way Children of Men since the movie was trying to make the audience feel like the events in the movie could be true or could actually happen in real life.

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