Expanded Cinema at St Andrews University

I’ll be presenting a paper at the postgraduate study day at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland. The conference takes place on 3 April and lasts the whole day. The programme can be found here.

My paper will address the increased visibility of slow-film director’s work in museums and galleries. I’ve posted an entry on the issue here on this blog already. I argue that this is not a coincidence. Rather, it suggests that slow films are perhaps screened in the wrong venue (the cinema) at the moment. The paper reasons this by linking slow films to static arts, which, in itself, require contemplation on the side of the viewer. The cinema, however, is not a site of contemplation, even though Thomas Elsaesser argues that Slow Cinema has changed this considerably. I don’t agree with this. It’s more the fact that we try to make the equation slow film + cinema work, without actively looking or accepting alternatives.

Following my work on the static arts, I will then give detailed examples to what extent certain slow films can be seen as incorporating elements of painting. Clearly pointing out that there is a definite link between stasis and Slow Cinema, I then go on to argue that the home of slow film should be the gallery or the museum, as this environment of (static) art would trigger larger acceptances of the movies. This is mainly due to the fact that the films would be seen as part of (static) art. The movie theatre symbolises entertainment, and slow films cannot fulfil the viewers’ expectations with regards to this. If placed in a gallery, however, the films are specifically received in the context of art and contemplation, and especially the latter is of utmost importance when watching a slow film.

It’s a 15min paper, and I hope to get sufficient feedback on it for further development. If you are around on this day, do drop by.

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