14 October 2009

Art of the Long Take: Gun Crazy

Here's a clip of one of my favorite films, J.H. Lewis's 1949 B-picture Gun Crazy, a predecessor of Bonnie and Clyde. It is a perfect use of the long take -- extending the anticipation of the robbery, limiting our POV to include us among the thieves, heightening the thrill of escape by trapping us in the back seat. From what I understand this scene was largely improvised, giving this particular shot an almost documentary-like feel and sense of immediacy. This is pure New Wave fodder: lean, artistic style, on location shooting, improvisation, the backs of heads. Love it.

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