1917's "single long take" aesthetic makes for one of the most tense war movies ever made.
There are very few movie scenes that have any right being shot in one continuous take, let alone entire movies.
Typically, movies aim to absorb their viewers in the content of their story and action. Long takes are distracting because, by contrast, they draw attention to the camerawork and editing––or lack thereof. Many directors, especially those who fancy themselves "auteurs," like long takes because of their visual and technical difficulty. But great long takes don't exist solely for prestige amongst film buffs. No, the best long takes work in service of the larger story and themes at play in the movie.
For instance, the tricycle scene in The Shining serves to disorient the audience as they try to piece together the impossible layout of the Overlook Hotel. The hallway scene in Oldboy mirrors the arduous gauntlet of Oh Dae-su's path to revenge. And Birdman, an entire movie meant to look like one long take (it's actually multiple shorter long takes, expertly cut together), is reflective of its leading man's transition from film to live theater.
Much like Birdman, director Sam Mendes' World War I epic, 1917, isn't actually a movie made in a single take, but rather multiple long takes with clever editing. But, perhaps even more than Birdman, 1917 doesn't just look like a single take. It feels like one. And while the concept of a feature-length war movie that looks like a single long take might sound like a gimmick, 1917 proves the narrative value of its visual direction beyond a shadow of a doubt.
1917 has a relatively straightforward premise: During WWI, two young British soldiers stationed in France––Lance Corporals Tom Blake (Dean Charles-Chapman, Tommen Baratheon in Game of Thrones) and William Schofield (George MacKay)––are tasked with the mission of hand-delivering a letter to the 2nd Battalion in order to call off a planned attack on the Germans.
What proceeds is one of the tensest war movies I've ever seen, and that's owed in large part to the single take aesthetic. Normally, a well-composed series of shots encompass all the information we need to know at any particular moment in a movie, directing our eyes to the things we need to be paying attention to.
But as the boys leave the relative safety of their trenches and venture out into No Man's Land, the camera slowly tracks them across a wide expanse of space with no particular direction in which we should be looking. This results in a constant feeling of tension, as we know the danger is ever-present, but we never know where it might be coming from. In a sense, the camerawork puts the viewer into the headspace of the soldiers, always scanning the landscape for threats.
In a similar vein, the single long take treats all aspects of the movie in a similar manner, gliding along with a slow track, sometimes moving in close, sometimes circling the area, but never speeding up past the gait of Blake and Schofield. This means that both light-hearted conversations and intense moments of action move at roughly the same pace. Doing so strips away some of the audience's most basic movie instincts.
For example, during the first stretch of the movie, which sees Blake and Schofield crossing through No Man's Land and an abandoned German trench, the boys don't encounter a single enemy combatant. Eventually, after they make it out of the German trench, Blake recounts a funny story as they walk through the woods.
Compared to the danger of the German trench, the woods feel much safer, but the contrast puts anyone well-versed in plot structure on their toes: If the trench seemed dangerous but nobody was there, then perhaps the woods will hold the real danger, ready to emerge during a moment of downtime when we finally feel safe. But nope. The boys make it through their conversation in the woods without a hitch and proceed to the next leg of their journey.
Eventually, when battle scenes do occur, the long take style enhances the experience, as well. With the camera sticking to a single person, we get the chance to navigate battlescapes right alongside him. His danger is our danger. His enemies are our enemies. In other words, the long shot doesn't just function to show us battles, but make us invest in them.
1917 isn't a movie content with just depicting a war story. It requires our participation. By watching and following Blake and Schofield's journey, we enter the headspace of soldiers on a perilous mission right alongside them. So while 1917 is most certainly an impressive, ambitious act of technical filmmaking, it also offers an incredible narrative for which the technical elements serve a greater purpose. After experiencing 1917, it's hard not to wonder whether traditional film editing has been the real gimmick all along.
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- 1917 | One Shot Reel Featurette - YouTube ›
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- World War I Drama 1917 Will Play As One Continuous Shot | Vanity ... ›
- '1917': Inside the making of a one-shot masterpiece - CNN Style ›
- [WATCH] '1917' Team Says One-Shot Shoot Was Not A “Gimmick ... ›
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Sometimes you've just got to get yourself that Winter Candy Apple and Iced Gingerbread.
I hope Jen from Appleton, Wisconsin is doing well these days.
As for Angela, the star of the best Bath & Body Works rant of all time (and there are surprisingly many on YouTube), I hope she's living a Winter Candy Apple-scented life to the fullest.
In 2012, the aspiring vlogger posted a rant about her dire mission to acquire two coveted candles from Bath & Body Works: Winter Candy Apple and Iced Gingerbread. The outstanding 11-minute video recounts her harrowing journey to the store in APPLETON, WISCONSIN (it's very important the store is called out for their heinous treatment of Angela).
After the video was discovered and spread across Tumblr, it was recognized as a cultural masterpiece of our time, a treatise on the frailty of the human condition and our undying perseverance to end our own suffering at any cost.
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It's an unprecedented time for brand deals and nonsensical collaborations
I'm convinced that the Supreme Oreos that terrorized the internet (and which I haven't stopped thinking about since) were the cultural reset.
Released in February 2020, right as everything started to go wrong, these bright red Supreme Oreos were met with equally visceral confusion and anticipation. Despite many on the internet claiming that Supreme and Oreo had gone too far, the 3-pack of Oreos inevitably sold out in minutes online.
It seems Oreo have not learned their lesson. Just announced: their collaboration with Lady Gaga
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Life is short, go for a bold eye like Jules.
From Rue's grungy over-sized aesthetic to Jules' femme futuristic looks, there are plenty of outfits shown throughout the series to inspire you to reinvent your whole wardrobe. Not to mention the makeup looks, which are so unique and striking as to have inspired hundreds of Halloween costumes last year. But why reserve a neon eye shadow or sequin eyelid look for Halloween when you can channel your inner Maddie or Jules all year long?
Euphoria Season 2 may be a few months away, but HBO is releasing two special episodes much sooner. The first of these specials, "Trouble Don't Last Always," focuses on Rue (played by Zendaya) and just dropped on HBO Max. To celebrate, we've listed some of the most essential cosmetic products to help you make your Euphoria-inspired makeup dreams come true—no drugs required.
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Here's what to stream this weekend.
If you're anything like us, you're probably overwhelmed by the sheer number of albums being released on a weekly basis.
Popdust's weekly column, Indie Roundup, finds the five best albums coming out each week so that you don't have to. Every Friday, we'll tell you what's worth listening to that might not already be on your radar.
Jordana, Something to Say to You<iframe src="https://embed.spotify.com/?uri=spotify:album:2A6VsLoEwhNrIX1PnxSNoL" id="43d23" frameborder="0" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="c0e2765824817964f2530f04b869de70" expand="1" height="480" width="100%"></iframe><p>Inspired by 2000s indie rock as much as current rap heroes like Lil Uzi Vert, Jordana Nye's second full-length album, <em>Something to Say to You,</em> is a chameleonic collection of lo-fi bedroom pop. After her early SoundCloud releases caught the ears of New York indie label Grand Jury, Jordana's sound has leveled up — wavering between layered electronica and acoustic ballads — without ever losing her homespun charm.</p>
Dogleg / Worst Party Ever, Go EP<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vbWVkaWEucmJsLm1zL2ltYWdlP3U9JTJGaW1hZ2UlMkZhYjY3NzA2YzAwMDBiZWJiMjVhYjkzNTkxNDJkYWViM2IzMzEyZDY5JmhvPWh0dHBzJTNBJTJGJTJGaS5zY2RuLmNvJnM9MzQ4Jmg9NTQ5MWIwMzBiZjA5ODIwMjlhOGExMjc4OGY2ZDdkN2JmMzRiMjFiOGE5Njk1MTZkYzczN2FlZTgzOTdmYjFjNiZzaXplPTk4MHgmYz0xNjQxNTAwMjA2IiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzNjI2NjkyMn0.bm0HvEP0OlqD3CA4ZqtRJWHYLPhNQb8X6X9Lzt6zIKM/img.jpg" id="3c88f" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="b9aae84184b12a4b2de84b15b1052ff0" />Dogleg x Worst Party Ever - "GO"
Winston C.W., Good Guess<iframe src="https://embed.spotify.com/?uri=spotify:album:76e0yvuj6mQqf9A4l2MxR1" id="32d8f" frameborder="0" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="21bd6eeae038c3dd0c92abde74a04988" expand="1" height="480" width="100%"></iframe><p>Winston Cook-Wilson is a songwriter, music journalist, and frontman of the Brooklyn rock band Office Culture. On his latest release under the moniker Winston C.W., <em>Good Guess, </em>Cook-Wilson takes a quieter approach, with his jazzy piano and vocals backed by upright bassist Carmen Rothwell and guitarist Ryan Beckley. At once intimate and spacious, <em>Good Guess </em>acts as Cook-Wilson's reflection on a period of personal turmoil last year in a fitting soundtrack to healing.</p>
Drakeo the Ruler, We Know the Truth<iframe src="https://embed.spotify.com/?uri=spotify:album:3JHBh2GhfyEDtV9n2sSy77" id="fd6b0" frameborder="0" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="9c28db37b4280421677b5cec637ac060" expand="1" height="480" width="100%"></iframe><p>In November, when most of America was awaiting the results of the 2020 presidential election, Darrell Caldwell—the Los Angeles-based rapper known as Drakeo the Ruler — was <a href="https://www.npr.org/2020/12/01/940814717/drakeo-the-ruler-less-than-a-month-out-of-prison-releases-we-know-the-truth" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">released from prison</a> following years of institutional corruption at the hands of Los Angeles' District Attorney, Jackie Lacey.</p><p>Less than a month later, Drakeo has released his latest full-length project, <em>We Know the Truth, </em>a collection of gritty West Coast hip-hop that feels like a culmination of the rapper's emotions while behind bars. He wrote all the lyrics while in prison.</p>
Joan of Arc, Tim Melina Theo Bobby<iframe src="https://embed.spotify.com/?uri=spotify:album:741roIjrflAKmW4Cxe1U3K" id="310d5" frameborder="0" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="915b9785440a12cb635fe3eb4c3acd29" expand="1" height="480" width="100%"></iframe><p>Joan of Arc were one of the most polarizing bands to emerge from <a href="https://www.popdust.com/essential-emo-albums-2645236632.html?share_id=5564901" target="_self">emo's second wave</a> around the turn of the century. Formed by frontman Tim Kinsella after the dissolution of his short-lived yet highly influential band Cap'n Jazz, Joan of Arc offered a more experimental interpretation of the genre. </p> <p>Kinsella's knack for challenging expectations is still prevalent today on the band's final album, <em>Tim Melina Theo Bobby. </em>Idiosyncratic, evocative, and sprawling, the record helps memorialize the legacy of a band whose impact was often overlooked in its heyday.</p>
Boba's back and our heroes lose. Season 2 just went full Empire Strikes Back.
With only two more episodes left in the season, The Mandalorian kick-started the final narrative arc with an explosive new entry.
The Mandalorian "Chapter 14: The Tragedy" premiered Friday, December 4th on Disney+. We're going to breakdown and explain all the major moments in this episode as well as its implications for the future of Season 2 and the series as a whole. It's all spoilers from this point forward. Do yourself a favor, watch Season 2, Episode 6, and come back!
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