CFP: Slow Cinema


Slow Cinema
Editors: Nuno Barradas Jorge, Tiago de Luca

Over the last decade, a cinematic trend characterized by aesthetic minimalism and slow tempo has made its mark on the world cinema map. Although directors such as Carlos Reygadas, Tsai Ming-liang, Béla Tarr, Pedro Costa and Lisandro Alonso, among others, do not pertain to a cohesive film movement, their films have been largely subsumed under the term ‘Slow Cinema’.

And yet, what exactly is Slow Cinema? While its presence in international film festivals continues to gain prominence worldwide, the term has too often been examined within the framework of a binary model that simply places it against the ‘intensified’ Hollywood style (Bordwell). With a view to rethinking its validity beyond dual systems and reductive binarisms (Nagib), this collection seeks to reposition Slow Cinema in a more expansive discursive and theoretical terrain. How can we productively understand this cinematic expression as inserted within diverse local, historical and (inter)cultural contexts, yet simultaneously as a response to wider industrial, social and even geopolitical forces at play?

For one thing, the emergence of Slow Cinema - or rather ‘slow cinemas’ - would seem to coincide in time with other cultural movements of capitalist resistance such as ‘slow food’, ‘slow travel’ and ‘slow media’. On the other hand, as far as cinema is concerned slow filmic traditions arguably stretch way back in time (European modernism, structural cinema, etc.), and this new trend seems to restore, as well as radicalize, tenets historically associated with cinematic realism (elliptical storytelling, non-professional actors, the long take, etc.). That a renewed phenomenological interest in materiality and duration should emerge at the moment the digital threatens to obliterate film’s link with physical reality might similarly suggest a resistance to simulation processes in our information- and stimuli-saturated era.

The proposed anthology thus seeks to examine this cinematic phenomenon in its multiple facets and in the present context of film as a rapidly changing technological and institutional practice. It aims to offer a global overview of this trend and map out how these cinemas interrelate on technical, aesthetic and political levels, while at the same time being wary of treating them as an ossified and undifferentiated corpus. The editors particularly welcome in-depth case studies that aim to contextualize this term within local and international traditions (cinematic or otherwise).

Topics may include, but are not limited to:

  •     Contextualizing ‘slow’ in contemporary cultural production
  •     The politics of slowness
  •     Theoretical approaches: cinematic realism, phenomenology, temporality
  •     Historical case studies of slow filmic traditions : realism, modernism, experimental cinema, etc.
  •     Slow Cinema and the international film festival circuit
  •     Slow Cinema in the digital era: modes of production, distribution and reception
  •     In-depth case-studies of current ‘slow cinemas’, and the ways in which they dialogue with local and global traditions, past and present. Directors may include but are not limited to: Lisandro Alonso (Argentina), Nuri Bilge Ceylan (Turkey), Pedro Costa (Portugal), Lav Diaz (Philippines), Bruno Dumont (France), Kim Ki-duk (South Korea), Amat Escalante (Mexico), Hou Hsiao-hsien (Taiwan), Naomi Kawase (Japan), Abbas Kiarostami (Iran), Hirokazu Koreda (Japan), Tsai Ming-liang (Taiwan), Carlos Reygadas (Mexico), Gus Van Sant (US), Albert Serra (Spain), Abderrahmane Sissako (Mauritania), Béla Tarr (Hungary), Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Thailand), Jia Zhangke (China).

Please send a chapter outline (300-400 words) accompanied by a brief author biography to Nuno Barradas Jorge ( and Tiago de Luca ( by 31 March 2013. For more information, please visit the anthology blog:

This volume was solicited by Edinburgh University Press (EUP) for the Traditions in World Cinema series. Contributors are expected to submit completed chapters by January 2014.


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