20 Amazing Slow-Paced Movies You Shouldn’t Miss

20 Amazing Slow-Paced Movies You Shouldn’t Miss's icon

Created by Igor Brynner_1989.

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Some of the best, and most obvious, advice to give anyone trying to get into cinema is to just be patient, and pay attention at all times. It is axiomatic for sure, but this advice is even more prevalent when considering slow, meandering cinema. It can be tempting to wander off and lose focus, but remaining diligent is what is going to provide the best understanding and enjoyment of the content over anything else.

The history of slow cinema runs the gauntlet of auteur legends such as Carl Theodor Dreyer, Ingmar Bergman, Chantal Akerman, Yasujiro Ozu, and Michelangelo Antonioni. Since the infamous boos and jeers directed towards the groundbreaking L’Avventura at Cannes, slow film has always seemed to have an uphill struggle to find a proper home. Now many filmmakers are applauded for such “relentless” pacing.

In fact, from an academic and historical point-of-view, slow film is entirely antithetical to classical style filmmaking. Old (and new) films are dominated by successive cutting, varying of shots/angles, and utilizing the Kuleshov effect to its fullest for easier plotting. Usually classic Hollywood films did this so the editor could cover up any mistakes or discrepancies.

Now it seems as if newer, mainstream films are vying for audience attention with as much visual stimuli as possible. However, many slow films like to have the mise-en-scène at such a minimum to where it seems as if nothing is happening. Some directors have a preference for keeping the camera at a long or medium-long shot to maintain verisimilitude, letting the scene play out in sequence.

There are many fantastic slow films, but these 20 films are emblematic of what the style/technique has to offer.

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  1. 1 new


    1964, in 11 top lists Check
  2. 2 new


    1967, in 9 top lists Check
  3. 3 new


    1983 — a.k.a. Nostalgia, in 8 top lists Check
  4. 4 new

    No Quarto da Vanda

    2000 — a.k.a. In Vanda's Room, in 6 top lists Check
  5. 5 new

    Sud sanaeha

    2002 — a.k.a. Blissfully Yours, in 5 top lists Check
  6. 6 new

    Gu ling jie shao nian sha ren shi jian

    1991 — a.k.a. A Brighter Summer Day, in 12 top lists Check
  7. 7 new

    4 luni, 3 saptamâni si 2 zile

    2007 — a.k.a. 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, in 11 top lists Check
  8. 8 new


    2002, in 5 top lists Check
  9. 9 new

    Beau travail

    1999, in 12 top lists Check
  10. 10 new


    2000, in 2 top lists Check
  11. 11 new

    O thiasos

    1975 — a.k.a. The Travelling Players, in 11 top lists Check
  12. 12 new

    Herz aus Glas

    1976 — a.k.a. Heart of Glass, in 1 top list Check
  13. 13 new


    2011, in 0 top lists Check
  14. 14 new

    Bad ma ra khahad bord

    1999 — a.k.a. The Wind Will Carry Us, in 7 top lists Check
  15. 15 new

    Landscape Suicide

    1987, in 2 top lists Check
  16. 16 new


    1988 — a.k.a. Damnation, in 4 top lists Check
  17. 17 new

    A Spell to Ward Off the Darkness

    2013, in 1 top list Check
  18. 18 new


    1999 — a.k.a. Humanité, in 4 top lists Check
  19. 19 new


    2000 — a.k.a. Platform, in 9 top lists Check
  20. 20 new

    Ebolusyon ng isang pamilyang Pilipino

    2004 — a.k.a. Evolution of a Filipino Family, in 3 top lists Check
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Last updated on Mar 8, 2017; source