Precious Bodily Fluids

“‘Slow cinema’ fights back against Bourne’s supremacy,” Sukhdev Sandhu


“‘Slow cinema’ fights back against Bourne’s supremacy,” Sukhdev Sandhu, The Guardian

Essay/report has to do with the AV Festival 12, a film festival in the UK that touts films that are “As Slow As Possible,” in reaction to films like The Bourne Ultimatum and Batman Begins, with average shot lengths of under two seconds. Sandhu notes that “slow cinema” is a controversial notion, which Jonathan Romney calls a “varied strain of austere minimalist cinema.” Others say that’s “based on a fundamental misunderstanding of what drives cinema.” Names like Antonioni, Warhol, Tarr, and Reygadas are dropped, in contradistinction with “YouTube kittens, TMZ titillation, mobile phone footage of racist outbursts on tube trains…” Sandhu observes that “these filmmakers all hail from outside the west,” but that’s an overgeneralization. He says this just after noting films from Reygadas (Silent Light), Jia Zhang-ke (Still Life), and Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives). But above that, he had mentioned Antonioni and Warhol, two Westerners. Slow films can “use duration to honor the immiserated” and it “is an inherently political concept.” At the end, the author notes that slowness “is an intrinsic element of contemporary visual culture,” appealing to screensavers, fish tanks, gallery installations, surveillance footage, night-cams, and buffering online video as proofs. Lots of interesting points but not much space devoted to developing the thoughts.

This entry was published on August 25, 2014 at 4:17 pm. It’s filed under Article Summaries and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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