Our peculiar Fascination with... August 06, 2009 13:47
I was watching Radio Heads video ‘Fadeout’ the other day and started wondering why we think slow moving things are so beautiful. I don’t mean slow moving like snails, I mean things which should be fast but are seen artificially slowed down, like the moment in that video when the 3 dancers leap into the air and time slows down as every flap of their diaphanous frocks slowly ripples. It’s fascinating because we could never see this in reality – it’s hyper real. The director John Woo is a fan of artificially slow moving fabric, think of all those long coats and jackets ominously flapping. Although, the real stylised slow moving fabric thing was done to the max in the Matrix movies. Lots of other movies and pop videos of the 90’s were obviously inspired by video games, manga, etc and featured this new type of movement. In Reservoir Dogs we see the dudes walking down the street, slowed down and we’re like ‘cool!’. Run it at normal speed and they’re just a bunch of well dressed guys walking, magic gone.
So why does it work so well?
My husband had a very interesting insight. I would totally claim it as my own here, but he reads this and I’d be in trouble! He He… Hello Dear :) Anyway, it’s all to do with relativity. You’ll be pleased to know I don’t mean of the Einstein variety but rather size relativity. Think of a mouse and an elephant (bare with me). Mice are small, fast and not very cool compared to elephants who are obviously big, slow moving and kind cool. Perhaps when we see this kind of artificially slow movement we feel slightly in awe of it as if subconsciously it makes us feel small and insignificant.
I really think he has something here. What do you think?