"In all film there is the desire to capture the motion of life, to refuse immobility," Agnes Varda has noted. But to capture the reality of human experience, cinema must fasten on stillness and inaction as much as motion. Slow Movies investigates movies by acclaimed international directors who in the past three decades have challenged mainstream cinema's reliance on motion and action. More than other realist art cinema, slow movies by Lisandro Alonso, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Pedro Costa, Jia Zhang-ke, Abbas Kiarostami, Cristian Mungiu, Alexander Sokurov, Bela Tarr, Gus Van Sant and others radically adhere to space-times in which emotion is repressed along with motion; editing and dialogue yield to stasis and contemplation; action surrenders to emptiness if not death.
Ira Jaffe is founder and former chair of the Department of Cinematic Arts at the University of New Mexico. He is author of Hollywood Hybrids: Mixing Genres in Contemporary Films (2008) and co-editor of Redirecting the Gaze: Gender, Theory and Cinema in the Third World (1999).
Introduction Deadpan: Stranger Than Paradise, Deadman and The Second Circle Stillness: Elephant and Mother and Son Long Shot: Distant and Climates Wait Time: The Death of Mr. Lazarescu, 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days and Safe Drift and Resistance: Liverpool and Ossos Death-Drive, Life-Drive: A Talking Picture, Taste of Cherry, Five Dedicated to Ozu and Still Life Rebellion's Limits: The Turin Horse, Werckmeister Harmonies and 12:08 East of Bucharest Notes Index