In praise of 'slow' movies

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Stephen_L, Jul 18, 2002.

  1. Stephen_L

    Stephen_L Supporting Actor

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    In a recent thread, one poster complained that "Monster's Ball" was too slow. Now I understand that when you find a film uninvolving it can seem terribly slow, but many of my favorite movies are slow-paced character studies that let you enjoy the ulimate 'special effect', good acting. I would rather spend a leasurely two hours with involving, well-wrought characters than with a half dozen frenetically edited, soul-less special effects pictures. Here are some of my favorite 'slow' films.

    "The Conversation" with Gene Hackman, directed by Francis Copolla. The slow, methodical deterioration of an isolated man.

    "Dangerous Liasons" A clinical study in evil, as bored aristocrats Glen Close and John Malkovich destroy others for their amusement.

    "Tender Mercies" with Robert Duvall, the touching redemption of broken man and the rediscovery of talent. A very early performance by Ellen Barken

    "Enchanted April" maybe its a 'chick flick', but it's also a story of hope and love rediscovered.

    "Hope and Glory" WWII from a child's point of view.

    Anyone have their own favorites?
     
  2. Tim RH

    Tim RH Second Unit

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    Anything and everything by Yasujiro Ozu.
     
  3. Scott Beaver

    Scott Beaver Extra

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    I've known people who were completely bored by all of these films that I love:
    Amadeus
    Citizen Kane
    Empire of the Sun
    Lawrence of Arabia
    Shadow of the Vampire
    But hey, I guess there are enough of us out there that enjoy them that they keep being made.[​IMG]
     
  4. Ben Osborne

    Ben Osborne Second Unit

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    I love slow movies, they put me at ease. I would consider these movies, some of my favorites, on the slow side: Blade Runner, The Godfather (all three), Das Boot, Bridge on the River Kwai, City Hall, Night Falls on Manhattan, Chinatown, and Lawrence of Arabia.
     
  5. MichaelAW

    MichaelAW Second Unit

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    A few slow movies, some good, some not:

    Unbreakable
    The Thin Red Line
    The Sweet Hereafter
     
  6. AndrewD

    AndrewD Stunt Coordinator

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    I watched "McCabe & Mrs. Miller" the other night. Probably one of Altman's most 'leisurely paced' movies and one of my favorites. The movie created such a wonderful atmosphere I almost wished it would have gone on a bit longer.
     
  7. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    Favorite "slow" movies:

    Sixth Sense
    Unbreakable
    Magnolia
    The Others
    Das Boot

    Many others that I can't remember.

    2001 has to be the slowest movie ever made.

    I like slow movies, as long as they keep me interested.

    --
    Holadem
     
  8. Ron-P

    Ron-P Producer

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    The Big Blue and Leon.
    ...also agree with Holadem, The Other's and Unbreakable.
    Peace Out~[​IMG]
     
  9. Bill J

    Bill J Producer

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    Favorite 'slow' films:

    2001: A Space Odyssey
    Lawrence of Arabia
    The Godfather Trilogy
    Das Boot
    The Thin Red Line
     
  10. John Watson

    John Watson Screenwriter

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    "Slow" movies are very often good; speed is often a substitute for wit, beauty, or interest.

    SHANE; EDWARD SCISSORHANDS; TROUBLE WITH HARRY; SECRET OF ROAN INISH, etc are in my collection, as is TERMINATOR, CLOCKWORK ORANGE, and many others.

    The logic of slowness, can permit understandable development, and realism. ADD kids may never get it, but for most of us it's a matter of time. I doubt if I would have wanted to watch SHANE 15 years ago.

    I even find silent movies can increase commitment and involvement, when the score is up to the job.
     
  11. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    Well, to me the 'speed' of the film is irrelevant. The key thing is that I have to be entertained, and not bored, and frankly I've been entertained by lots of 'slow' movies, and bored by lots of 'fast' ones.

    I'm not sure I'm a very good judge of what's slow. A lot of the above films do bore me, but not because of tempo. Some of the above are among my favorites:

    Citizen Kane
    Blade Runner
    Godfather 1&2
    Das Boot
    Bridge on the River Kwai
    Chinatown
    The Sixth Sense
    2001

    Other films I love that are probably 'slow':

    The Ghost & Mrs. Muir
    The African Queen
    Body Heat
    Zelig
    A Few Good Men
    Vertigo
    The Apartment
    Stalag 17
    The Maltese Falcon
    To Have & Have Not
    Lifeboat
    High Noon
    Charade
    Cool Hand Luke
    The Green Mile
    The Postman Always Rings Twice
    Key Largo
    Suspicion
    In the Heat of the Night
    The Trouble With Harry
    The Graduate
    Casablanca
    Shadow of a Doubt
    Anatomy of a Murder
    The Manchurian Candidate
    Rear Window
    The Shop Around the Corner
    Witness for the Prosecution
    Rebecca
    Scrooge
    It's a Wonderful Life
    Sorry, Wrong Number
    Gilda
    Rope
    Diabolique
    The Big Sleep

    and while it may not be a slow movie, it has got to contain one of the slowest, yet not boring scenes ever put on film:
    North by Northwest with Cary Grant standing waiting for a bus.
     
  12. Eric F

    Eric F Screenwriter

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    It wasn't all that slow when the crop duster came in...

    Heh. How about all those Agatha Christie type mystery films like Death on the Nile where the real action takes place in the last few minutes?
     
  13. Andrew_Sch

    Andrew_Sch Cinematographer

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    As I watching the final shootout in the graveyard in The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly today, it occured to me that if it had been made today, there's no way the scene right before it, when they keep cutting back and forth between Blondie, Tuco and Angel Eyes, letting the tension boil over for four minutes while the music wails, would have lasted that long. Man, that is one long sentence.[​IMG]
     
  14. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    I'm surprised no one has mentioned Being There.

    Deliberately slowly paced, Peter Sellers is able to characterize Chance perfectly. There's not one scene that seems fast in pace, nor rushed. The scene with Chance walking with Also Sprach Zarustah playing is perfect.

    Also, City Lights works in partly the same manner. While there's some speed in some sequences (which is always appropriate), the pace is simple... City Lights is usually called the most eloquent film ever made...I can't agree more.
     
  15. Tino

    Tino Lead Actor
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    The Terminator....SLOW????[​IMG]
     
  16. Vickie_M

    Vickie_M Producer

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    Ooooh, most of my favorite films are "slow," but I'll give special nods to...
    Never Cry Wolf
    Dersu Uzula
    Fitzcarraldo
    To some, anything less than a full-on ACTION or COMEDY movie is "slow."
     
  17. Stephen_L

    Stephen_L Supporting Actor

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    Gotta add my votes for 2001, Being There, Blade Runner and Never Cry Wolf. 2001, Blade Runner, and Never Cry Wolf illustrate another form of slow movie;one which lets the viewer linger over and appreciate the images and setting. I'm a little surprised by some folks choices. Maybe its my age (44) but many of the selected 'slow' films are action-packed in my opinion. Terminator??? Don't get me wrong its one of my favorite films but SLOW??? The African Queen, A Few Good Men, and Bridge Over the River Kwai are also favorites but they have a pretty tight narrative that moves right along. Not frenetic, but not leasurely either.
     
  18. Rob P S

    Rob P S Cinematographer

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    Smoke (1995). How can you not love a movie that ends with a 10-minute closeup of Harvey Keitel doing a monologue?
     
  19. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    Well, as I said, I'm not sure exactly what constitutes a slow film. However, I can't figure out how Blade Runner is slow and the African Queen isn't. [​IMG]
     
  20. Nathan V

    Nathan V Supporting Actor

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    Stephen- i couldn't agree more. Most great movies are at least somewhat slow. Some of my favorites:
    The Insider
    Heat
    Blade Runner
    The Man who Wasn't there
    2001

    However, there are many films that are 'fast,' but also thought provoking, compelling, etc:
    traffic
    Ben-Hur
    Fight Club
    Moulin Rouge
    Se7en
     

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