Pre-order The Art(s) of Slow Cinema magazine now!

After months of work, the very first issue of The Art(s) of Slow Cinema magazine is now available for pre-order via tao films. It’s thanks to Daniel Fawcett and Clara Pais that I have finally made the move towards my own journal. It’s been thought of for years, but I had never actually had the guts to do it. Now, after six years of blogging I’m happy to welcome the first paper version of The Art(s) of Slow Cinema into the world.

With a cover designed by Swedish filmmaker and artist Sebastian Eklund, the magazine comes in A5 size and is 84 pages strong. It comes with a professional fastback binding. I’m super chuffed to have wonderful people on board.

Filmmakers Aleksandra Niemczyk and Sebastian Cordes write about their approach to film, and give you an insight of the behind-the-scenes of their films Centaur and A Place Called Lloyd respectively.

Daniel Fawcett and Clara Pais reflect about the state of cinema in the 21st century, to which Maximilian Le Cain responds in a separate essay.

Catlin Meredith from Her Head in Film writes about the meaning of home in Yulene Olaizola’s Fogo, which we are streaming on tao films.

Myself, I investigate the aesthetic of absence in the films of Lav Diaz.

And I’m over the moon with John Clang’s sketchbook of his film Their Remaining Journey.

All of this, and a 20% discount of your tao films subscription, can be found in the magazine.

In order to keep possible financial losses at bay, I will collect orders of twenty magazines before they go into print and are then shipped. It’s a sort of on-demand service, which allows me more flexibility and avoids financial hassles. In the end, we must not forget that this is the first issue and I have no clue as to how successful this will be. I’m taking it safe 🙂

International shipping is available, of course. The price is 10€ for the magazine and 6€ for shipping. Shipping from France is pretty expensive. I wished I could offer it for cheaper, but it’s sadly not (yet) doable. Maybe I’ll have found a better option for issue 02.

As soon as the first batch of magazines is ready for shipping, a shipping date will be communicated to each buyer individually. I’d be eternally grateful if you could spread the message, in whatever way possible. And, of course, if you have any questions about the magazine, do drop me an email: theartsofslowcinema@gmail.com

My thanks goes to all contributors and supporters. This magazine wouldn’t have been possible without you!

Pre-order your magazine on the tao films VoD website and join me on this next part of the slow journey!

Book on Lav Diaz – A self-publication model?

Now that my time as a PhD student comes slowly, but at the sometime speedily to an end, I need and want to think about publishing my material. This blog has been of tremendous help and will remain up and running for as long as I’m a Slow Cinema fanatic. Yet, I wish for something slightly more when it comes to my actual thesis. Rather than putting all this work into my shelf, gathering endless amount of dust, I’m keen on bringing this baby into the wider world.

A book on Lav Diaz, his representation of (post-)trauma in relation to its country’s historical and societal malaise, would, I believe, be a good start to publish some fundamental material on his work. There are a huge number of interviews with and blog entries about him. But a substantial work on Lav Diaz is still non-existent.

As a scholar, I should perhaps decide for an academic publisher. This has for a long time irritated me, however. I set up this blog to make my work available to those who would otherwise never get hold of these information, because they would have to pay, i.e. the material would be behind a please-pay-to-educate-yourself bar, which I find rather unethical. I don’t really have any expenses writing this blog, so I’m happy to leave it the way it is.

I think people could benefit from my work. This is by no means an arrogant statement. I generally see research by whoever on whatever subject as beneficial to other people, who are able to pick up on existing ideas and improve on them, or even challenge them. Research is, in effect, a communal effort. Yes, thesis writing is a solitary work, but then the work has to go out there and prove its worth. The only requirement is that research is available to the public, and in many cases, it isn’t. It’s behind pay walls.

I thought through the possibility of publishing my book through academic publishers. I come from a very poor background, where it was difficult to find the money for school books. Yes, I’m from Germany, a wealthy country. This doesn’t mean, though, that education is cheap (I’m eternally grateful to my parents, who have made my education possible.). I therefore have a problem with selling my book for horrendous prices. Look at current prices for academic books…they exclude everyone who does not have a certain degree of wealth. No money, no education. It gets worse the higher you get in the bureaucratic system of education. If I was to publish through academic publishers, I would not even have the money to buy my own book. The book would be available to scholars, who have a stable and decent salary, but not to those who probably have the highest interest in the material.

I reckon that the strongest interest in my book comes from people outside academia. People who go see a film for the pure joy of it, not for dissecting it into tiny little bits. People who still have an innocent mind about this, and who are not spoiled the way I am, who often finds herself studying framing etc even though I’m only viewing a film for my own pleasure, not for work.

Long story short, the idea is to go for self-publication. I found a very good model for it yesterday. I don’t want to get rich with it anyway, so royalties have little to do with my decision. I may actually end up earning more royalties through self-publication than through publication via academic publishers, who knows.

The advantages with self-publication are plenty. I have no up-front costs. Books are printed and shipped on demand. It’s therefore a very ecological way, if you think about it. I set the list price, not the (academic) publisher. I can make the book as cheap or as expensive as I wish. I can also adjust the price according to country of distribution. I can therefore charge more in high-income countries and less in soft-currency countries. The book would be available for purchase not only on Amazon (US, Europe), but also through my own website, which makes handling the whole issue very simple. By setting the list price, I can also say that 50% of the royalties, or whatever percentage it’ll be that I come up with, goes to Lav Diaz himself as a financial support for his work. This way, buying the books is not only a purchase, but also a donation in parts.

As I’m not at all interested in making lots of money with it, and as my main aim is making my material available to the broader public, the model of self-publication is incredibly tempting.

I would like to hear your thoughts on this, though. So if you have any thoughts, ideas, concerns, please let me know. I’d be grateful for any input. Thank you!