You miserable, little son of a bitch – 10 – Julie Andrews, after seeing her boyfriend walking around naked with naked women
I know it’s hard to lose…You lose at times, unfortunately – Ten – Mania Akbari, speaking to her friend about a man rejecting marriage with her
Could there be two more dissimilar films with the same title? Or are they? Blake Edwards’s 1979 Southern California sex romp which made beaded, cornrow hairstyles chic, pretty much completely objectifies women, while Kiarostami’s 2002 film set exclusively in a car examines the challenges of Iranian women and also features a female hairstyle much more subversive in light of that culture. (Just yesterday, filmmaker and Kiarostami collaborator Jafar Panahi was sentenced to six years in prison and twenty years of silence for making propaganda against the regime.)
Note: This post is partly a reply to a question someone asked me, back-channel, about slow motion, but also partly due to my general interest in how time works in narrative, and in brevity and stasis (and “the ongoing”).
Slow motion is created by presenting film footage at a slower rate than it was shot at. The principle is as old as cinema itself. In 1879, Eadweard Muybridge invented the zoopraxiscope, which allowed him to project his 1870s photographic motion studies as animations. (Film projection is, interestingly, older than film-capture cameras.) It was observed immediately that repeating the photos 2:1 (double-printing), or spinning the zoopraxiscope slowly, would slow the motion down.
An aside: In conducting his motion studies, Muybridge lined up multiple cameras that were activated by tripwires. (The motion picture camera wouldn’t be invented until 1890.) This same technique would later be resurrected as “Time-Slice” or “Bullet-Time,” popularized by the Wachowskis in The Matrix.
After the jump I’ve arranged a partial history of slow motion in cinema. It isn’t intended to be an exhaustive list; rather, I’ll point out what I consider memorable or otherwise significant uses of slow motion.