This website originates from research for my doctoral thesis into the phenomenon of Slow Cinema. At first, it was dedicated exclusively to research and a sort of dumping ground for ideas regarding the specific approaches I was considering for my own work. The longer I’m using this website to publish material on Slow Cinema, however, the more it becomes a more general website that contains all sorts of things on Slow Cinema; book reviews, film comments, interviews with filmmakers, and thoughts that stem from my research. It is, if you want to call it this way, an all-rounder among the slow websites.
To give you a bit of background material, though, I should say that there has been an increased awareness of slowness in film since the early 2000s. While the concept of long-takes and minimalism isn’t new, critics such as Jonathan Romney helped moving it into public sight. Slow Cinema, a limited, and hence debated term, has become the catch word of the last decade. It is often characterised by the use of long-takes, little use of dialogue and/or music, the use of non-professional actors playing empty and/or lonely characters, and – in some cases – by the sheer description of “this is boring”.
To me, Slow Cinema is more an experiential film form. Finding a definition is exceptionally difficult. This is perhaps mostly because “slow” is relative, so Slow Cinema is relative, too. What slow means to one person, may in fact be fast to another. I’m now very used to slow films. It is difficult for me to still see the slowness in there. For me, it has become “normal”. I therefore try to explain Slow Cinema via different routes, sometime through art, sometimes through literature. I try to draw parallels in order to get to the bottom of the Slow Cinema experience.
In that sense, I hope this website is useful to you, the reader. Let’s be slow together!
If you have any questions, concerns or film recommendations, please do contact me via firstname.lastname@example.org
P.S.: If you’re really into reading those things, you can download my CV here.
P.P.S.: You can support my work and become a patron of The Art(s) of Slow Cinema!
Only a few months ago I hadn’t heard the term slow cinema. I had an idea for a short film and how I wanted to shoot it. The end result was tagged with the label “Slow Cinema” which I discovered is an aesthetic term that has been given to many of my favorite contemporary films. All the best to your work and research. I look forward to reading this blog for a long time.
Thank you so much for this text. It touched me very much.
July Slow Cinema | Take Two
[…] deeper into this film movement by visiting the excellent Art(s) of Slow Cinema set up by Nadin Mai initially as a research blog for her PHD and who is now also setting up a VOD […]
Kudos for promoting Lav Diaz. It’s just disappointing to see many Filipinos – even those used to art movies or Oscar movies at least – describing the effort they need to endure Lav Diaz when you can find them at social media announcing their Games of Thrones or Prison Break binging. Lav Diaz is a national treasure and his works are essential to our being as Filipinos in the same way the novels of Jose Rizal and the paintings of Amorsolo are. FIlipinos can live without watching the complete season package of Friends but every citizen of our troubled archipelago must see Norte, Hangganan ng Kasaysayan and Ang Babaeng Humayo.
Yes, people have strange priorities. I don’t know why people can binge-watch a series for a whole day but fail at sitting down for a six-hour film. But then again, these things are very different from one another, and Diaz’s films require a commitment to serious cinema. TV series are basically entertainment, easier to swallow. You can remain passive in your seat. This is what most people want and prefer.
Very strange that there is no mention of Sohrab Shahidsaless on your website at all! He made slow cinema before even Akerman did! He basically pioneered the aesthetics of this style of “modern Slow Cinema,” chronologically speaking!
Hi Arta, thanks for your comment. I’m only writing about directors I’m aware of or whose films I have personally seen. I never heard of Sohrab Shahidsaless, and these things happen because film critics focus on the standard names, so other filmmakers are forgotten. I always value readers who point those blind spots out. I’ll try get hold of Sohrab’s films!
So happy discovering this blog.
My first slow film was “Satantango”. I was watching it for 3 days, but my mind was blown away…
Than I discovered Apichatpong Weerasethakul. He hasn’t long films but his story telling is soo slow and gentle. I loved it so much. He has a big influence to my aesthetic.
Now, my fav. directors are from tropical countries.
This year, discovered Lav Diaz, “the woman who left”, and started watching his films. Sadly, I was watching his movies for 4-5 days, but I like when my mind is completely surrounded by this motion, aura.
Thank you again for this blog.
Hi Beka, thank you so much for your nice comment! Yes, Satantango blew me away, too. I watched it in one go, and it was stunning. It changed my way of perceiving film. I’m a fan of Apichatpong, too. Very different in style, but as you said, he’s got something very gentle in his filmmaking.
Nice article. Recently I found this great (and slow) film: A journey (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt6743960/):
That doesn’t look very slow 🙂
Jeffrey W. Ruggles
I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for putting in so much work on this website and Tao Films. I am a filmmaker who is drawn to the slowness of cinema. Seeing the films of Chantal Akerman, Lav Diaz, Lisandro Alonso, etc. really impacted me and made me want to work in a similar vein. I just finished a feature film this year and it has very much struggled in the festival circuit. So, it’s nice to see this website championing art and under seen films! Thanks again!
Thank you so much, Jeffrey. That is so kind of you 🙂