Patience Is a Virtue

Why do so many moviegoers equate a slowly-paced movie with being boring? In my Japanese Cinema college class, I was embarrassed to admit that I had shed tears while watching Ozu’s Tokyo Story – though I suppose my professor or the students on either side of me might have noticed – because so many other students complained about the movie being so slow, ergo, boring. If you ask me, you would have to be made of stone not to be moved by that film, but of course that’s just me.

Some movies require patience. Everyone has different ideas of what’s boring to them. Personally I can’t stand any of the Eisenstein films I’ve seen, including The Battleship Potemkin (except, of course, for the Odessa Steps sequence). For me, Ozu’s films are beautiful and lyrical but absolutely worth watching.

Are there any films you feel are great but others find interminable?

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8 thoughts on “Patience Is a Virtue

  1. Nice piece. I am seeing Tokyo Story for the first time soon (it is showing at a cinema here) so will let you know my thoughts.

    I am a huge Terrence Malick fan and many find his film interminable. Probably the best example is The Thin Red Line, which some just think is interminably long and meaningless. I feel it is one of the best war films ever made and you could possible argue a very realistic one.

    • That’s interesting; Terrence Malick came to mind when I was writing the post but mentioning him slipped my mind. I was lucky that my first Malick experience was a great one because I completely fell in love with Days of Heaven (hence my WordPress icon being the farmer’s house), but then a few weeks later The Tree of Life was in theaters and I absolutely hated it. For as much as I love Days of Heaven (even after repeated viewings), that’s how much I can’t stand The Tree of Life. Badlands falls somewhere in the middle, I guess. I’ll certainly have to see The Thin Blue Line and The New World, as well as To the Wonder, which I’m excited to say will be released in New York in just a few days. Even a “bad” Malick film would still be visually captivating, but I’m hoping that To the Wonder is great rather than just a boring series of images.

      • Days of Heaven is the only Malick film that I haven’t seen actually. Really need to check it out.

        Your thoughts on Tree of Life sort of prove beautifully how some find his films interminable and others just love them. That film is the only colour film on my top 5 of all time. I think it is amazing (but can definitely understand why someone would find it to be an interminable watch.

  2. And again,keep in mind that today’s society is bombarded by images that are taken immediately and thrown later. Again it depends on the person’s taste of films too. For me I am an epics girl who loved visually-strong films. For films that are great,Lawrence of Arabia (4 hours?? Pretty hard for those who are used to two hrs),Hitchcock films,Bresson’s A Man Escaped and Pickpocket,Wes Anderson films,The Diving Bell and The Butterfly,Woody Allen (I loved Hannah and Her Sisters,Midnight in Paris and Annie Hall but hated Manhattan. My mum hates Woody Allen) . Indeminable ones,Michelangio Antonini’s films (I only watched two and hated them),Derek Jarman’s Blue (Watched this for New Queer cinema,torturous),The English Patient (JEEBUS,beautiful visuals but terrible plotholes),Au Hazard Balthzar,Les Enfants Du Paradis (I hate Nathanile for being a bitch here,especially influencing Baptiste),Farnelli (I seen Le Roi Danse which is brilliant but this film is terrible) For the film studies students which are both great and indemindle D.W Griffith-the Birth of The Nation ( A long silent film is just too painful for them XD). JEBEUS I could write a very long long list of films with that category.

    • Ah, Lawrence of Arabia: my all-time favorite film, but I know so many people who can’t sit through it. (Ditto my second-favorite film, Harold and Maude, although that’s obviously way shorter. I know people who just find it too weird and kind of slow-moving in parts.) And then there’s The English Patient; I was surprised to find that I loved it when I saw it last October since I always assumed I would hate it a la Elaine from Seinfeld.

      Earlier today I went to a get-together for a college program I’m in which awarded me a prize for a paper I wrote – and when the professor said that I won for my “excellent paper on the use of maps and cartography in the Wes Anderson film Moonrise Kingdom,” I could hear some murmurs about that, probably thinking it sounded pretentious or boring. But that’s the great thing: there are some movies that people love, some movies that people hate, and there are always different ways to see/interpret the same thing.

    • No, I haven’t seen that one, though it sounds interesting. The only Kitano film I’ve seen is Sonatine, which I’m not crazy about, but A Scene at the Sea sounds totally different. I’ll have to check it out.

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