The use of slow motion in film

Slow motion is very frequent nowadays in film. Yet it is a old concept, discovered in 1894 by some operators working for Edison. Often slow motion is used in action films to highlight a key scene or dramatise a shot/a character. What does it mean when a director uses slow motion? To what effect does he do this? To what extent is it effective? Think about some really famous scenes that use slow motion effectively. Some examples:
– Wolf of Wall Street – Quaaldus scene
– Darjeeling Limited – when the characters run for the train at the beginning and at the end (how has the meaning of the slow motion changed?)
– The Untouchables – Union Station scene
– Django Unchained – death of the Brittle Brothers (Tarantino uses this technique a lot)
– Pirates of the Caribbean – the end of At World’s End with the death of Beckett
– The Matrix – bullet scene
– Inception

  • If anyone wants to take this one, I mention it briefly in my 'Why are films so melodramatic' article with a theory as to why slow-mo is used. – Francesca Turauskis 7 years ago
  • Dredd would be a great one to look at too, the whole film revolves around a drug called slo-mo and the film is draped in it! – Marcus Dean 7 years ago
  • Yes, Dredd would be perfect! – Francesca Turauskis 7 years ago
  • A comparison between the use of slow-mo in 300, and it's sequel/prequel 300:Rise of an Empire would be really interesting. In the first film it felt like a conscious style choice, in the follow up it was just ridiculous. – Michael Clancy 7 years ago

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