What’s the opposite of Speed Reading?

Posted by Jim on Oct 14th, 2014
Oct 14

I don’t think there is a collectively recognized term that answers the question posed by this entry’s title, because, let’s face it, reading is never exciting when it’s done slowly. Deliberate, careful reading is reserved for dense academic texts, not for the reading material we consume casually. This cannot be said for the moving image—slo-mo can be used to great effect is visual media.

Below is a video from CineFlix that compiles their ten favorite uses of slow motion in films. Check it out!

Although I think the site relies too heavily on recent films for its compilation videos, regularly falling back on its tendency to show what’s hip instead of what is historic, I have to say I was happily surprised to see the inclusion of Leni Riefenstahl shots from a film other than Triumph of the Will. I was mostly angered by the use of the credit sequence from Reservoir Dogs instead of the real classic slow walk shot: the hangar entrance from The Right Stuff. But then I thought to myself “maybe there is a reason it wasn’t included.” I sought out the clip on YouTube:

As you can see, the famous walk shot isn’t actually in slow motion. It is merely the number of shots the this one that inspired that use slo-mo (such as the Monsters Inc. example mention in the CineFlix video). This is a case of me remembering something in slow motion that took place in real time. It reminds me of a story I heard while watching a football game years ago. There is a classic shot of Joe Namath leaving the field after winning Super Bowl III that is always shown in slow motion. See the video here at NFL Films.  As you can see, even in this video, he waves his finger in slow motion. The NFL announcer I remember told his audience that the Namath video is shown in slow motion so often, everyone remembers it happening in slo-mo. This is what has happened to me in regard to The Right Stuff. That made me smile.