Pretty movies that are not slow
December 9, 2014 2:04 PM   Subscribe

My attention span is usually awful, especially for movies. I've never been able to get into slower filmmakers like Ozu and Tarkovsky. I do love filmmakers/cinematographers who make lush, beautiful movies that engage with film as a medium, but I need them not to be slow. Examples of non-slow, pretty ones I like include Sofia Coppola, Wong Kar-Wei, and Michel Gondry. I have Hulu Plus and Netflix streaming, plus can find other titles online. Any other suggestions for movies?
posted by mermaidcafe to Media & Arts (29 answers total) 47 users marked this as a favorite
 
First thing that comes to mind is Tarsem Singh's The Fall.
posted by lethologues at 2:07 PM on December 9, 2014 [8 favorites]


Anything by Michael Mann (except Last of the Mohicans).
posted by caek at 2:10 PM on December 9, 2014


I also was going to suggest The Fall. Very visually stunning.
posted by Crystalinne at 2:14 PM on December 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


Oh and Big Fish is probably also a contender.

And The Fountain.
posted by Crystalinne at 2:15 PM on December 9, 2014


Seems kind of obvious, but would Wes Anderson's later movies fit your definition of "pretty"?
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 2:18 PM on December 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


Anything directed by Baz Lurhmann except Australia, maybe even that one though I found the storyline slow. Whatever you might say about his storytelling his imagery is lush as all get out.
posted by wwax at 2:25 PM on December 9, 2014 [5 favorites]


You know, the more recent crop of non-Disney animated family films have been pretty darn gorgeous, and good to watch to boot. Try:

-The Croods
-The Secret of Kells
-James and the Giant Peach (not recent, but amazing.)
-Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs (way better than I was expecting as a devotee of the original book)
-Anything by LAIKA including Coraline & Paranorman
-A Monster in Paris
-If tv shows are doable, Samurai Jack remains one of the most stylishly beautiful cartoons ever made.

Anyway I know how you feel. I love a ponderous beautiful film maybe once every two months but apart from that give me something with some pace! More suggestions:

-Speed Racer (yes, the 2008 Wachowski one. Don't knock it till you try it.)
-Paprika
-Anything by Guillermo del Toro, especially Pan's Labyrinth, but both Hellboys were delightful.
-An American in Paris is my favorite musical; you might have some luck with the late midcentury musicals when they really got the form down.
-Similarly, Bollywood greats starring the untouchable SRK like Om Shanti Om and Rab Ne Bada Di Jodi are beautiful and lush but in no way ponderous.
-Scifi and Fantasy like The Fifth Element and The Brothers Grimm, two of my favorites that seem to split everyone into love or hate.
-If you're willing to do a live action tv show, Pushing Daisies is for you.
-And finally if you think your attention span is robust some day, try the wonderful Japanese film Departures.
posted by Mizu at 2:34 PM on December 9, 2014 [4 favorites]


Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
posted by amro at 2:39 PM on December 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


Oh and perhaps Pan's Labyrinth. I might be commenting on this all day...
posted by Crystalinne at 2:46 PM on December 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


- Seconding anything by Baz Lurhmann, Coraline, and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
- Mood Indigo if you haven't seen it yet, directed by Michel Gondry.
- The Golden Compass (though I may have a bias towards anything starring Daniel Craig...not to mention the stunning costumes worn by Nicole Kidman in the film. I don't really remember much of the plot but remember being struck by the cold beauty of this one).
- Stealing Beauty...this is one of the most beautiful films I've seen but hopefully you won't find it too slow.

Hmmm I have more but I fear they might be too "slow" since I have a high tolerance for slow movies...
posted by Shadow Boxer at 2:54 PM on December 9, 2014


Just came to say that despite really hating the movie, there was no denying the visuals of Speed Racer. Have not seen anything like it.
posted by Thistledown at 3:04 PM on December 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


Nagisa Oshima's In the Realm of the Senses (freaky, shocking, psychosexual, gorgeous)

Seijun Suzuki's Tokyo Drifter (pulpy, violent, humorous, lurid)
posted by Juliet Banana at 3:23 PM on December 9, 2014


Diving Bell and the Butterfly!
posted by caoimhe at 3:39 PM on December 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


It's hard to beat Powell and Pressburger for lush and beautiful (and the stories are good too).
Try The Red Shoes or Black Narcissus.
posted by mdrew at 3:39 PM on December 9, 2014


I've been saving Speed Racer for a long long time.

The indominitable Cloud Atlas enjoying some of the same directors (Wachowski's) is visually lush, intellectually fast, very involved, and very long. Worth the investment.

By the third director of Cloud Atlas, German Tom Tykwer, is a tasty little number called Run, Lola, Run that will keep you on the edge of your seat throughout it's quick running time (ha. "running time")

Yep. Almost anything Baz Lurhman.

Oooooo! I know!!

If you haven't seen True Romance - ENJOY :))
posted by jbenben at 3:48 PM on December 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


nthing a lot of what was mentioned above, especially Tarsem's The Fall and Satoshi Kon's Paprika.

Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole - I'm not saying it's a great film, but it is visually stunning.

One from the Heart by Francis Ford Coppola is shot on a soundstage with overtly theatrical effects. It's really beautiful to look at.

Jean-Pierre Jeunet's Amélie comes to mind as does Sally Potter's Orlando (I don't remember whether that's slow or not though).

Jean Cocteau's Beauty and the Beast ("La belle et la bête") is amazing.

You might take a look at Julie Taymor's work.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 4:54 PM on December 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


Going off Mizu's Bollywood recs, if you're willing to try Bollywood, you could give Jodhaa Akbar, Devdas, or 7 Khoon Maaf a try.

I'm also a big fan of Roger Deakins' work as a cinematographer, and thought the latest Bond movie Skyfall was just gorgeous. I could take or leave the plot and all the James Bonding, but good lord, was it pretty.
posted by yasaman at 4:58 PM on December 9, 2014


Black Narcissus
Akira Kurosawa's Dreams
Last Life in the Universe
The Searchers
The Wind Will Carry Us
posted by Mothlight at 5:01 PM on December 9, 2014


Before Night Falls is great, as is the book
I didn't care for it but I know many who loved the visuals in Enter the Void
posted by seesom at 5:15 PM on December 9, 2014


I Am Love with Tilda Swinton is gorgeous.
posted by spec80 at 6:12 PM on December 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


My go-to pretty movie is Hero. It's a "kung fu flick" so it's definitely not slow.
posted by sacrifix at 8:14 PM on December 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


Seconding Hero. Director Zhang Yimou has made some beautiful movies.
posted by Ik ben afgesneden at 9:21 PM on December 9, 2014


agree that Hero is gorgeous. along those lines, if you haven't seen the most recent Wong Kar Wai film The Grandmaster it's also very beautiful.

have you seen Antonioni L'avventura?
posted by citron at 9:45 PM on December 9, 2014


The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.
posted by rawrberry at 10:04 PM on December 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


Luc Besson's catalogue is very pretty. The Fifth Element has already been mentioned, but all his films are very visual, and rarely slow, except for tension-building moments, that sort of thing.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 3:19 AM on December 10, 2014


big hero 6 in theaters right now is pretty gorgeous. Also avatar is known for good visuals, but it does get slow in times.
posted by bbqturtle at 5:49 AM on December 10, 2014


I recently saw what I felt was a Gorgeous bollywood movie called Ram-Leela. The script is a little weird at times, and I felt the male lead overacts a bit, but visual aspect kinda floored me and it's got great dancing. I don't know what the director did to make the colors and movements pop like that, but whatever it was it worked really well. I believe it won best picture in the Indian Movie Awards.
posted by rancher at 9:08 AM on December 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Gravity, and check out this Reddit thread on cinematography. (Skip the Assassination of Jesse James. That movie is the definition of slow.)
posted by cnc at 2:06 PM on December 10, 2014


Very enthusiastically seconding The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty.
posted by WalkerWestridge at 1:06 PM on February 12, 2015


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