Slow Cinema

Slow Cinema

Aesthetics of duration harbor not only stylistic, but political potential. A camera moves slowly through a landscape, illuminating details that dwell at the edges of perception—or the camera doesn’t move at all, instead immersing the spectator in a fixed vantage point whereby, through one’s heightened state of awareness, a single frame bursts into a splendor of meaning.

As Slow Cinema evolves as a movement increasingly prominent in film festivals and within academic study across the globe, Filmatique’s eponymous series considers this political potential. In contemporary Asian films, slowness often signals a protest against the vertiginous pace of industrialization and societal change; in Latin American and Turkish cinema, it may offer a protracted, sensuous relation to the natural world. Anti-consumerist, ecological, and contemplative, cinematic slowness offers a new form of agency, a mode of intervention in the accelerated pace of late-capitalist existence.

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Slow Cinema
  • August Winds

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    Gabriel Mascaro • 2014 • Brazil • A lush and haunting portrait of climate change in a fishing town.

    Shirley has recently moved from the city to a remote fishing village in northeastern Brazil, in order to tend to her elderly grandmother. Meanwhile, the waters rise. A researcher ar...

  • Climates

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    Nuri Bilge Ceylan • Turkey • 2006 • A crowning achievement by a contemporary master.

    Isa and Bahar have been together for a while. Holidaying by the seaside, the weight of their history is felt in their silences, in stolen glances. Isa has been secretly seeing another woman, and B...

  • Liverpool

    Lisandro Alonso • 2008 • Argentina • Follows a merchant sailor en route to his hometown.

    Farrel has been at sea for years. Steeped in the quotidian routines of life on a merchant ship, one day Farrel requests to disembark. His goal is to visit his ailing mother in Ushuaia. Equipped solely with a...

  • Long Day's Journey Into Night

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    Bi Gan • China, France • 2018 • A noirish stunner and new landmark in world cinema.

    Luo Hongwu left Kaili twenty years ago. Now he has returned—his father is dead. Back in his hometown, memories rush to the surface, including of Wan Qiwen, a beautiful and enigmatic woman with whom...

  • Makala

    Kabwita Kasongo is 28 years old, living in the Congo with his wife and young daughters. His dream is to somehow earn enough money to buy a plot of land where he can build his family a home. Having felled an enormous hardwood tree, he bakes the wood in an earthen oven and harvests charcoal (maka...

  • Neon Bull

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    Gabriel Mascaro • 2015 • Brazil-Uruguay-Netherlands • A dreamlike journey into Brazil's vaquejada

    Evoking northeast Brazil’s rural traditions alongside dreams of its burgeoning fashion industry, and attuned to the commodification of bodies across species, Neon Bull deconstructs co...

  • Russian Ark

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    Aleksandr Sokurov • 2002 • Russia • A floating, single-take journey through Russian history.

    Filmed in one 96-minute, continuous single-take shot—the first work of cinema to ever do so—Russian Ark foregrounds the sustained unfolding of cinematic time and space as a process of cont...

  • Silent Light

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    Carlos Reygadas • 2007 • Mexico • Filmed with nonprofessional actors among a community of Mennonites.

    Johan lives with Esther, his wife, and their seven children in rural Chihuahua state, among a community of Mennonites. For the past two years Johan has engaged in a passionate af...

  • Tabu

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    Miguel Gomes • Portugal • 2012 • A sumptuous, eccentric romance by a modern master.

    Pilar is a middle-class woman, and devout Catholic, living in Lisbon. She has become something of a de facto daughter of Aurora, the imperious and cantankerous old woman who lives next door, throug...

  • The Woman Who Left

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    Lav Diaz • 2016 • Philippines • A woman's path to redemption after thirty unjust years in jail.

    Horacia has spent the past thirty years in jail for a crime she didn't commit. Returning home, she becomes set on a path of revenge against Rodrigo, a wealthy ex-lover who framed her.

    ...

  • Times and Winds

    Reha Erdem • Turkey • 2006 • Forbidden yearnings, dawning sexuality, and oedipal rage.

    A remote Turkish mountain village. Omer, Yakup, and Yildiz are three adolescents who live their lives bound with the rhythms of nature. Omer detests his father, a local Muslim cleric, and plots for ways to kil...

  • Winter Sleep

    Nuri Bilge Ceylan • Turkey • 2014

    Cappadocia, present day. Aydin, a retired actor, runs a small hotel, where he lives with beautiful young wife Nihal and his recently divorced sister. Growingly restless in this provincial region, Nihal busies herself with small philanthropic projects; Aydin, m...