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Judge Joel Pearce's Blog

Judge Joel Pearce • Location: Waterloo, ON Canada
• Member since: March 2004
• 338 full reviews
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Slow movies
April 2nd, 2005 8:19AM

Well, I'm halfway through my last practice teaching block, which has been slowing down my DVD Verdict activity. I'm getting caught up enough on my lesson planning that I've finally gotten some viewing in this weekend, though.

So, last night I finally watched Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. It's been one of those titles I've been embarassed that I've never seen, and it turns out that all the hype is deserved. There are few directors still working today who trust an audience enough to make a movie that darn epic. I realize when I go back and watch movies like this and The Seven Samurai that I have become an impatient film viewer. It took me a little while to settle into the pattern and timing, and it wasn't until about half an hour in that I was really engrossed.

This lines up with an experience I had showing The Untouchables to a group of grade 10s this week in a History class. Even though it was made as recently as 1987, the students in the class were clearly not used to watching an action movie that was paced this slowly. They shifted and complained a lot in the scenes of dialogue, and it made me wonder what will happen to this generation of moviegoers if all they have the patience to watch are Hollywood blockbusters and Saturday morning cartoons. It's refreshing these days to find a film that slows down a little, giving time to see the characters in non-plot-critical situations.

It saddened me to see that happen (it's hard to imagine anyone getting bored during that baby cart scene), but as I watched Good, the Bad and the Ugly, it made me realize that I am in danger of letting the same thing happen to me. We live in such an time obsessed culture that we start to fidget as soon as filming is no longer "efficient". When a slowly paced film can draw you in, though, the process seems more complete somehow.

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