Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Robert Gives Thanks

I love slow movies. Really slow. For the longest time I thought everyone else considered that word to signify the worst in movies. Slow meant bad enough to put you to sleep. I love movies that put me to sleep. I’ve a whole collection of movies that I can pop in the DVD player whenever I can’t sleep and they’ll do the trick. If we can agree that music peaceful enough to put you to sleep can still be great, why not movies?

So this year I’m thankful for slow movies. But I’m also thankful for others who love them, because together we inspire filmmakers to keep making them. Great modern films like Goodbye, Solo and The Assassination of Jesse James..., and The Band’s Visit and Silent Light.

I’m thankful that cinema hasn’t been completely overrun by the desire to make anything but “boring” when too often films that are poetic, relaxing, serene, and contemplative are given that most terrible of labels.

I’m also thankful for Studio Ghibli, Charlie Chaplin, Mumbecore films, Faye Wong in Wong Kar Wai movies, Maria Falconetti , Charlie Kaufman, the masculinity of John Huston, the Iranian New Wave, Max Von Sydow (who looks like my grandfather), Fellini in the 1980’s, everything that comes out of Werner Herzog’s mouth, the modern Documentary movement, Louise Brooks and her hair, and Jude Law’s last line in A.I. “I am, I was!”

14 comments:

Jose said...

As much as I love slow movies, something about "Silent Light" just didn't do it for me.
Are the other Reygadas movies different or any good?

Sean said...

'The Band's Visit' was, I think, the best film released in theaters in 2008. Just sayin'.

Robert said...

Jose... Silent Night I thought was a little too dependent on referencing Ordet to be perfect, but I still thought it was pretty great and am glad movies like it are getting made.

Sean... I just love The Band's Visit, and I agree.

Deborah said...

Not all slow movies are beautiful, some are just frickin slow. Nonetheless, slow movies are sometimes extraordinary, and I adore The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. GODS do I love that movie.

NATHANIEL R said...

i love that one too. In truth the only time "slow" bothers me is if i feel the narrative is not progressing (even if everything else is rat-a-tat-tat -- i had this problem with In the Loop) or during comedies in general when I think it tends to kill the urge to laugh. comedies should move fast. Otherwise most genres can handle either style of pacing.

adam k. said...

Bright Star is my favorite "slow" movie so far this year. I've Loved You So Long, which I watched this morning, is an example of a slow movie that I really didn't enjoy. "Slow" works better generally when there's plentiful visual and aural beauty on display.

Star Trek: The Motion Picture (the director's edition) is another of my favorites that I can put in any night to help lull me to sleep. I love slow movies.

Henry said...

I read somewhere that Christina Ricci likes to fall asleep to The Fellowship of The Ring and I tried that and it really did do the trick. I do confess to using the longer (and better) Extended DVD version of the film, though.

Magicub said...

Virgin Suicides could classify as slow?

NATHANIEL R said...

Henry... wow. maybe it's all those aerial shots of the walking. when i can't sleep it sometimes help to imagine myself as a bird or dragon or something flying and just zoom over landscapes and seascapes. True story.

i sometimes fall asleep doing that.

magicub anythign with Kirsten at her dreamiest ;) she has that sleepy magnetism to her.

Aracir said...

how about terrence malick movies? For me they are a bit slow.. and/or quiet.

notanotherblog said...

I LOVE "The Assassination of Jesse James..."!

And I hate the word "slow" when describing movies, specifically when it comes to movies like "Gosford Park." To me, when someone calls a movie "slow," it just means that they're too stupid to listen to dialogue.

Amir said...

aracir,
terrence malick is my most favorite 'slow film' director.
i opened this post to comment about him and then i saw yours.

Danny King said...

Interesting opinion here. I think there's something different between a boring film and an effectively slow moving film. I enjoy the latter type of film very much.

ForWest Inc. said...

I think it is fair, to told that The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, is a slow movie. I think because the story talk about biography f Jesse James.

Number 2nd of my favorite actor : Brad Pitt (especially:The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button). Have you reviewed it?


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