Slow Cinema
Get Slow Cinema essential facts below. View Videos or join the Slow Cinema discussion. Add Slow Cinema to your topic list for future reference or share this resource on social media.
Slow Cinema

Slow cinema is a genre of art cinema film-making that emphasizes long takes, and is often minimalist, observational, and with little or no narrative.[1][2] It is sometimes called "contemplative cinema".[3] Examples include Ben Rivers' Two Years at Sea, Michelangelo Frammartino's Le Quattro Volte, and Shaun Wilson's film 51 Paintings.[2][4][5]


Progenitors of the genre include Andrei Tarkovsky, Ingmar Bergman, Michelangelo Antonioni, Aleksandr Sokurov, Béla Tarr, Chantal Akerman and Theo Angelopoulos.[6] Tarkovsky argued that "I think that what a person normally goes to cinema for is time".[1] Greek director Theo Angelopoulos has been described as an "icon of the so-called Slow Cinema movement".[7]

Recent underground film movements such as Remodernist film share the sensibility of slow or contemplative cinema. Examples include Béla Tarr's, The Turin Horse, the works of Fred Kelemen, and Sleep Has Her House by Scott Barley.

The AV Festival held a Slow Cinema Weekend at the Star and Shadow Cinema in Newcastle, UK in March 2012, including the films of Rivers, Lav Diaz, Lisandro Alonso and Fred Kelemen.[1][4][8][5]


Sight & Sound noted of the definition of slow cinema that "The length of a shot, on which much of the debate revolves, is a quite abstract measure if divorced from what takes place within it".[4]The Guardian contrasted the long takes of the genre with the two-second average shot length in Hollywood action movies, and noted that "they opt for ambient noises or field recordings rather than bombastic sound design, embrace subdued visual schemes that require the viewer's eye to do more work, and evoke a sense of mystery that springs from the landscapes and local customs they depict more than it does from generic convention."[1] The genre has been described as an "act of organized resistance" similar to the Slow food movement.[3]

It has been criticized as being indifferent or even hostile to audiences.[1] A backlash by Sight & Sound's Nick James, and picked up by online writers, argued that early uses of long takes were "adventurous provocations created by extremists" whereas recent films are "operating within a recognized, default artistic idiom."[9]The Guardian's film blog concluded that "being less overweeningly precious about films that are likely to be impenetrable to even the most well-informed audiences would seem an idea."[10] Dan Fox of Frieze criticized both the dichotomy of the argument into 'philistine' vs 'pretentious' and the reductiveness of the term "slow cinema".[11]


Contemporary contemplative cinema directors include Pedro Costa, Lav Diaz, Tsai Ming-liang, Sharunas Bartas, Kelly Reichardt, Shaun Wilson, Apichatpong Weerasethakul and Carlos Reygadas.[]

Notable films

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e Sukhdev Sandhu. 'Slow cinema' fights back against Bourne's supremacy. The Guardian, 9 March 2012
  2. ^ a b Steven Rose. Two Years At Sea: little happens, nothing is explained. The Guardian, 26 April 2012.
  3. ^ a b Thomas Elsaesser, Stop/Motion in Eivind Rossaak (ed). Between Stillness and Motion: Film, Photography, Algorithms. p117. 2011
  4. ^ a b c Miller, Henry K. (March 2012). "Doing time: 'slow cinema' at the AV Festival". Sight & Sound. Archived from the original on 2012-04-04. 
  5. ^ a b Tom Clift. Experimental Expression. 'Filmink Magazine', August, 2012.
  6. ^ Nick James. Syndromes of a new century. Sight & Sound, February 2010
  7. ^ David Jenkins. Theo Angelopoulos: the sweep of history. Sight & Sound, February 2012
  8. ^ Slow Cinema Weekend. AV Festival, March 2012.
  9. ^ Vadim Rizov. Slow cinema backlash. IFC, 12 May 2010.
  10. ^ Danny Leigh. The view: Is it OK to be a film philistine? The Guardian Film Blog, 21 May 2010
  11. ^ Dan Fox. Slow, Fast, and Inbetween.Frieze blog, 23 May 2010

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



Top US Cities