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Slow Cinema

Edited by Tiago de Luca, Nuno Barradas Jorge

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Situates, theorises and maps out cinematic slowness within contemporary global film production and across world cinema history

In the context of a frantic world that celebrates instantaneity and speed, a number of cinemas steeped in contemplation, silence and duration have garnered significant critical attention in recent years, thus resonating with a larger sociocultural movement whose aim is to rescue extended temporal structures from the accelerated tempo of late-capitalism. Although not part of a structured film movement, directors such as Carlos Reygadas, Tsai Ming-liang, Béla Tarr, Pedro Costa and Kelly Reichardt have been largely subsumed under the term ‘slow cinema’. But what exactly is slow cinema? Is it a strictly recent phenomenon or an overarching cinematic tradition? And how exactly do slow cinemas interrelate on an aesthetic, technical and political level?

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Table Of Contents
Foreword, Julian Stringer
Introduction: From Slow Cinema to Slow Cinemas, Tiago De Luca & Nuno Barradas Jorge
Part I: Historicising Slow Cinema
1: The Politics of Slowness and the Traps of Modernity, Lúcia Nagib
2: The Slow Pulse of the Era: Carl Th. Dreyer’s Film Style, C. Claire Thomson
3: The First Durational Cinema and the Real of Time, Michael Walsh
4: ‘The Attitude of Smoking and Observing’: Slow Film and Politics in the Cinema Of Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet, Martin Brady
Part II: Contextualising Slow Cinema
5: Temporal Aesthetics of Drifting: Tsai Ming-Liang and a Cinema of Slowness, Song Hwee Lim
6: Stills and Stillness in Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Cinema, Glyn Davis
7: Melancholia: The Long, Slow Cinema of Lav Diaz, William Brown
8: Exhausted Drift: Austerity, Dispossession and the Politics of Slow in Kelly Reichardt’s Meek’s Cutoff, Elena Gorfinkel
9: If These Walls Could Speak: From Slowness to Stillness in the Cinema of Jia Zhangke, Cecília Mello
Part III: Slow Cinema And Labour
10: Wastrels of Time: Slow Cinema’s Labouring Body, The Political Spectator, and the Queer, Karl Schoonover
11: Living Daily, Working Slowly: Pedro Costa’s in Vanda’s Room, Nuno Barradas Jorge
12: Working/Slow: Cinematic Style as Labour in Wang Bing’s Tie Xi Qu: West Of The Tracks, Patrick Brian Smith
13: ‘Slow Sounds’: Duration, Audition and Labour in Liu Jiayin’s Oxhide and Oxhide II, Philippa Lovatt
Part IV: Slow Cinema and the Nonhuman
14: It’s About Time: Slow Aesthetics in Experimental Ecocinema and Nature Cam Videos, Stephanie Lam
15: Natural Views: Animals, Contingency and Death in Carlos Reygadas’s Japón and Lisandro Alonso’s Los Muertos, Tiago de Luca
16: The Sleeping Spectator: Nonhuman Aesthetics in Abbas Kiarostami’s Five: Dedicated to Ozu, Justin Remes
Part V: The Ethics and Politics of Slowness
17: Béla Tarr: The Poetics and the Politics of Fiction, Jacques Rancière
18: Ethics of the Landscape Shot: A.K.A Serial Killer and James Benning's Portraits of Criminals, Julian Ross
19: Slow Cinema and the Ethics of Duration, Asbjørn Grønstad
Part VI: Beyond ‘Slow Cinema’
20: Performing Evolution: Immersion, Unfolding and Lucile Hadžihalilović’s Innocence, Matilda Mroz
21: The Slow Road to Europe: The Politics and Aesthetics of Stalled Mobility in Hermakono and Morgen, Michael Gott
22: Crystallising the Past: Slow Heritage Cinema, Rob Stone and Paul Cooke

About the Author

Dr. Tiago de Luca is Lecturer in Film Studies at the University of Liverpool. He is the author of Realism of the Senses in World Cinema: The Experience of Physical Reality (I.B. Tauris, 2013) and the series editor (with Lúcia Nagib) of Film Thinks: How Cinema Inspire Writers and Thinkers, and has published widely on world cinemas in journals such as Senses of Cinema, Journal of Chinese Cinemas, Cinephile, New Cinemas: Journal of Contemporary Film and Cinema Journal.

Nuno Barradas Jorge is a PhD candidate in the Department of Culture, Film and Media at the University of Nottingham. His research has appeared in the journal Adaptation, and the collections Migration in Lusophone Cinema (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014), El Juego con los Estereotipos (Peter Lang, 2012), and Directory of World Cinema: Spain (Intellect, 2011).


'In Slow Cinema, editors Tiago de Luca and Nuno Barradas Jorge explore the emergence of the titular "slow cinema" as an aesthetic category that animates a particular sense of cinematic time and duration, placing emphasis on introspection, reflection and contemplation… the volume is especially illuminating when underscoring an integral link between slow cinema, the non-human and ecocinema.'

- Sander Hölsgens, LSE Review of Books

The loose, international movement known as contemporary slow cinema is both the most hotly discussed and the least popularly seen and understood body of feature films. This brilliant, extensive collection reveals the forerunners and current masters, the complex politics and contexts, the intricate forms and pleasures of an exciting trend.

Professor Adrian Martin, Monash University

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