Four weeks on Wednesday 15th January to 5th February, 7:00-9:00pm
Course Leader: Filmmaker and Programmer Peter Treherne
Slow cinema is as difficult as film can be. So when convenience is the order of the day, and the world is speeding up around us, why has slow cinema become ever more entrenched? Through a series of four seminars we will explore the early history of durational film making, and dive into the work and concepts that make slow cinema the most boring and exciting of movements today.
Week one: Beginning with Bazin (Italian Neorealism and European Arthouse Cinema)
After World War Two, directors such as Vittorio de Sica and Luchino Visconti established a new style and mode of film making. It triumphed non-professional performances, location shooting and socially conscious subject matters, and it emphasized long takes, deep focus and wide shots. In this first seminar we will explore the aesthetics and politics of Neorealism and how it paved the way for slow cinema.
Suggested viewing: Vittorio de Sica’s Bicycle Thieves
Week two: Beginning Again (US Experimental Cinema & Ozu)
Across the Atlantic, something entirely different was happening. Artists such as Andy Warhol and Michael Snow were pushing film form as far as they could. For the first part of the seminar we will explore their non-narrative experiments. In the second half we will jump to Japan where Yasujiro Ozu created his own absolutely spare and rigorous style. These various forms of slowness highlight how international the emerging movement would become.
Suggested viewing: Andy Warhol’s Empire Michael Snow’s Wavelength Yasujiro Ozu’s Late Spring
Week three: As Long as Possible (Bela Tarr, Chantal Akerman and Lav Diaz)
How long should a film be? 90 mins seems to be the sweet spot, but then Chantal Akerman’s Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du commerce weighs in at 225 minutes, Bela Tarr’s Satantango is 419 minutes, and Lav Diaz’s Evolution of a Filipino Family is 593 minutes. Through these three seminal filmmakers we will explore slow cinema at its extreme.
Suggested viewing: Bela Tarr’s Werckmeister Harmonies (part 1+ part 2)
Week four: Slow Cinema Now
Is slow cinema dead? Has it become a cliché? Many of the seminal filmmakers are moving away from the cinema and into the gallery – what does this mean? In the last seminar of the course we will explore the problems that have dogged slow cinema, and the new issues that have risen as slow cinema steadily becomes a genre.
Suggested viewing: Tsai Ming-liang’s Walker, Scott Barley’s Sleep Has Her House
Tickets are £70 for the full four-week course (£65 concession / £60 Picturehouse Members).
This course will take place in the Community room at Crouch End Picturehouse