“Then He Kissed Me”

I’ve never seen GoodFellas, but I found this scene on YouTube when looking for this old song by the Crystals.  What a work of art!  Scorcese perfectly uses the period music and adoring, long tracking shot to establish this guy’s bravado, in the service of impressing a girl.

I mean, when a club holds a table for you, you’re powerful, but when they build a new one in front when you show up, that’s serious!

But the technical artistry here is the best part.  Getting that shot must have been tough, but it was worth it.  It’s a joy to watch.

Reminds me of this long tracking shot from Orson Welles’s Touch of Evil:

But, of course, like all kids who grew up in the 80’s, “Then He Kissed Me” mostly reminds me of the opening of Adventures in Babysitting:

How Modern Russian Cinema Evolved From Orson Welles

Just saw Orson Welles’ Touch of Evil last month.  This impressive opening scene is the best part of the movie.  A lot of technical wizardry must have gone into making this long tracking shot work–not to mention tons of rehearsal.

Even more impressive, though, is the 2002 film Russian Ark, which I also saw last month.  A hypnotic tour of the Hermitage from the point of view of a ghost who slips around in time with no transition other than moving from room to room of the huge art museum / royal residence, the entire film is composed of a single shot.  It’s the only feature film ever done like this, and it’s fascinating.  Especially great for art lovers–hundreds of masterpieces are lovingly showcased throughout. Below is the first 13 minutes, plus part of a “making of” documentary.