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The Long Take

Art Cinema and the Wondrous

2017
Author:

Lutz Koepnick

The Long Take

An impassioned argument for the cinematic long take as a compelling source of wonder and a unifying force of contemporary art

In The Long Take, Lutz Koepnick posits extended shot durations as a powerful medium for exploring different modes of perception and attention in our fast-paced world of mediated stimulations. This book serves as a critical hallmark of international art cinema in the twenty-first century, inviting viewers to probe the aesthetics of moving images and to recalibrate their sense of time.

The Long Take demonstrates a thorough and masterful command of film, media, and visual theory. With vivid descriptions of the works under consideration, Lutz Koepnick helps illuminate and elucidate the use of the long take in film and art with a prose that is at once accessible and intelligent. An ambitious and magisterial work.

Nora M. Alter, Temple University

In The Long Take, Lutz Koepnick posits extended shot durations as a powerful medium for exploring different modes of perception and attention in our fast-paced world of mediated stimulations. Grounding his inquiry in the long takes of international filmmakers such as Béla Tarr, Tsai Ming-liang, Abbas Kiarostami, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, and Michael Haneke, Koepnick reveals how their films evoke wondrous experiences of surprise, disruption, enchantment, and reorientation. He proceeds to show how the long take has come to thrive in diverse artistic practices across different media platforms: from the work of photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto to the screen-based installations of Sophie Calle and Tacita Dean, from experimental work by Francis Alÿs and Janet Cardiff to durational images in contemporary video games.

Deeply informed by film and media theory, yet written in a fluid and often poetic style, The Long Take goes far beyond recent writing about slow cinema. In Koepnick’s account, the long take serves as a critical hallmark of international art cinema in the twenty-first century. It invites viewers to probe the aesthetics of moving images and to recalibrate their sense of time. Long takes unlock windows toward the new and unexpected amid the ever-mounting pressures of 24/7 self-management.

The Long Take

Lutz Koepnick is Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of German, Cinema, and Media Arts at Vanderbilt University. He is author of On Slowness: Toward an Aesthetic of the Contemporary, Framing Attention: Windows on Modern German Culture, The Dark Mirror: German Cinema between Hitler and Hollywood, and many others.

The Long Take

The Long Take demonstrates a thorough and masterful command of film, media, and visual theory. With vivid descriptions of the works under consideration, Lutz Koepnick helps illuminate and elucidate the use of the long take in film and art with a prose that is at once accessible and intelligent. An ambitious and magisterial work.

Nora M. Alter, Temple University

Analysing permutations in the long take across a notably diverse array of institutional contexts, with close readings of moving images drawn from feature films, gallery installations, site-specific artworks and video games, Lutz Koepnick develops an expansive and nuanced account of wondrous looking. Although Koepnick is fully attuned to the demands of the attention economy, The Long Take nonetheless strikes a hopeful and appropriately curious tone, highlighting the multiple settings and situations in which, for a time at least, spectatorship can be both embodied and unguarded.

Maeve Connolly, author of TV Museum and The Place of Artists’ Cinema

The Long Take

Contents
Preface and Acknowledgments
Introduction: Toward a Wondrous Spectator
1. To Cut or Not to Cut
2. Images of/as Promise
3. “It’s Still Not Over”
4. The Long Goodbye
5. Funny Takes?
6. The Wonders of Being Stuck
7. (Un)Timely Meditations
Conclusion: Screens without Frontiers
Notes
Index