The Magical and Mysterious 'Long Day's Journey Into Night' - Creative Planet Network
Bi Gan's dreamy film features a 55-minute single-take 3D sequence

"The whole film plays with memories, the magic of memories," says director Bi Gan about his dreamy, surreal feature Long Day's Journey Into Night. "This film is simply about a man [Luo Hongwu] setting out to look for a woman. 

"But what I wanted to capture were the emotions... 3D images are fake but they resemble our memories much more closely."

From director Big Gan's film 'A Long Day's Journey Into Night'

From director Big Gan's film 'Long Day's Journey Into Night'

"The audacious second half of the opaque drama is what leaves most viewers awestruck: At the 73 minute mark Hongwu enters a movie theater and puts on his 3D glasses, a cue for the audience to do the same," explains Jordan Ruimy. "The title of the film is slapped on-screen: Long Day's Journey Into Night, in bright green neon lights, with a moody electric guitar-led score phasing in the background. 

"Is this a dream? Who knows, but what comes next is a single 50-minute take with an atmosphere soaked in surrealism, as Hongwu explores for his lost love and tries to find some kind of conclusion." To read the full article, click here.

"After the first part [in 2D], I wanted the film to take on a different texture," Bi Gan says. "In fact, for me, 3D is simply a texture. Like a mirror that turns our memories into tactile sensations. It's just a three-dimensional representation of space. But I believe this three-dimensional feeling recalls that of our recollections of the past."

"Credited to three cinematographers—David Chizallet, Yao Hung, and Dong Jinsong—the gorgeous aesthetics are the driving force behind this triumph, alongside, of course, the director himself," Ruimy explains.

"The greatness of this Long Day's is not just the bravado single take, it's also that the result is one of the most beautiful and virtuoso feats in recent cinematic history. Consisting of no digital touch-ups, over a dozen setting changes, loads of extras, unpredictable animals, air travel (that's right), musical numbers, and even a game of ping-pong, suffice to say, if Bi Gan's goal was to reinvent the language of film, he might have done achieved that goal, but I'm still dizzily reeling." To read the full article, click here.

"For me, 3D is simply a texture. Like a mirror that turns our memories into tactile sensations."

"Uninterrupted takes like this one have been done before, even for the length of a film (witness Victoria or Russian Ark)," writes Jordan Mintzer. "But what makes this 50-plus-minute sequence-shot here so special is how it blends depth-defying camerawork (Steadicams, zip-lines and drones are involved), exquisite lighting and production design — all of it captured in 3D! — with a deeply poetic style that recalls both Wong Kar Wai and Andrei Tarkovsky, tracking the main character's gradual descent into melancholic bliss." To read the full article, click here.

Read more: The One Take in Russian Ark Takes Us Through Russian History

Read more: One Take Wonder: Victoria, a Feature Film in a Single Take, Astounds Audiences

LongDaysJourney05

Read more: Long Day's Journey Into Night Review: 3D Movie With 55-Minute Long Take is the Revelation of This Year's Cannes Film Festival

Read more: Bi Gan's Long Day's Journey Into Night Is A Masterfully Mysterious Effort

Related