At first I wasn’t sure how I felt about this video essay. I almost stopped watching it towards the beginning. There was something about it that wasn’t feeling coherent to me, which is a point of criticism I would still agree with after watching the whole thing. But as the video progressed and it’s argument built on itself, I found myself drawn in. I think that part of my initial hesitation came from the structure of this video’s pacing. The author uses voiceover over a series of clips from various movies to explain some of the various ways slow motion can be used. The sounds are mostly from the clips with some additional music so the flow of the video as a whole tends to feel a little jumpy. I also find his tone to be slightly disinterested.
The author begins with what comes first in my mind when thinking about slow motion, action films, and then goes into a bit of detail about its effectiveness in sci-fi or fantasy. Up until this point the examples used are generally board and although information is given about why slow motion is used in these moments, I didn’t really feel any deeper connection to the topic.
The video shifts for me about a minute in when it dives into some more specific examples and uses of slow motion that I don’t necessarily think of right away, such as the use of slow motion in Martin Scorsese’s films, which typically allows us to get inside the head of his protagonists. There is also the use of slow motion to heighten intense emotions in particularly dramatic moments, such as in Carrie. We already know that the prom scene is going to end in tragedy, so her heightened sense of joy is made all the most tragic when slowed down.
I guess this video to me seems more like a list. The parts add up to a bigger picture but it’s structure feels slightly disjointed. I do appreciate it because I feel like I have been introduced to a range of ideas now on how slow motion is used in film but I would have liked something more from this video. Maybe it’s as simple as some adjustments in its tone or its flow, some more editing with that sound perhaps. Or it’s something more complex, like diving deeper into particular examples. Either way I felt like a couple of adjustments could have made this video more effective but as it stands now it certainly raises an interesting point and does so using strong visuals and other videographic criticism techniques.