Slowness and Time Expansion in Long Takes: 2001: A Spacey Odyssey, Barry Lyndon, and Eyes Wide Shut
AbstractPramaggiore claimed that Barry Lyndon is slow, similarly Ciment suggested that 2001: A Space Odyssey and Eyes Wide Shut are slow films, too. Moving from the debate on slowness, especially from Jaffe’s discussion, from the data collected in Cinemetrics about Kubrick’s films, from their comparison with data of other films elaborated by Bordwell, and from a stylistic analysis of Kubrickian films, I will show that, in Kubrick’s oeuvre, only the three films mentioned by the French scholar can be considered slow. One of the features of slowness is the presence of numerous long takes characterised by a few dialogue or silence, by rare and slow movements of the camera that often do not follow the staged events, and that show in long shots the lengthy movements of characters and objects. During these takes, the associative narrative form substitutes the sequential one – as discussed by Grodal – and the expressed time – as defined by Yacavone – is emphasised. Beginning with Totaro’s discussion of long takes, I will analyse them in 2001, Barry Lyndon, and Eyes Wide Shut, and compare their features with those of long takes in slow cinema. When either the camera or the characters and objects in frame moves, I will draw conclusions about expressed time through a discussion of movement, adopting the Conceptual Metaphor Theory. My hypothesis is that Kubrick managed to extend expressed time, much like the directors of slow films do, although in his films the sequential narrative form is never completely abandoned in favour of the associative one, and coexists along with it.
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