One of my overall favorite technical pieces of film is the use of the tracking shot, and the first scene I think of when it comes to the tracking shot is the 3 minute opening shot of Paul Thomas Anderson’s brilliant Boogie Nights. The thing about this scene is that it is great for reasons besides just the use of the tracking shot. The purpose of this scene is to introduce you to all of the characters in this large ensemble cast. When you take the idea of this mass introduction and apply it to the period of time that this film takes place in, then the end result is this scene.
Everything about it is just perfect. You start with the odd sad clown music and transition from that right into the music of the 70’s as the camera makes its way into the nightclub, introducing you to all of the characters along the way.
This, ladies and gentlemen, is excellence: