Rope

Rope ★★★★

Rope is a perfect "one-take" film.

Not to say that it's the way this approach should be done every time. Just that, it gives the camera trick a purpose beyond being an impressive gimmick.

Each long take is extremely well executed and being used to convey information in creative and unique ways at the same time. The extended takes also give the movie an almost participatory feel. Drawing you into the room alongside the characters. Rope isn't just a "one-take" movie, it's a "one-room" movie too, and you get to spend the next hour and change with these characters in 1:1 real time. The format, style, and dialogue all make the movie very theatrical, and honestly (besides Hitchcock's other touches) the long takes are what make this right for the screen rather than the stage. Hitchcock utilizes the camera to narrow the stage, isolating certain characters or drawing our attention to what's behind them in the distance. Even something as slight as an increase in heart rate can be implied just by a movement of the camera.

There's a sequence toward the end that I really loved where, as a character is describing the process of the murder, the camera takes on his point of view. He describes the actions as his eyes/the camera track the movements across the room all while maintaining the long take. Like that one, there are so many incredible ideas for the format throughout this film.

Rope just makes it feel like every attempt at making a movie in one long take has been a step backwards.

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