This introductory chapter begins with a review of films that represent what has been called a cinema of slowness, tending towards a certain definite template: long takes (up to ten minutes), static camera, big distance between the camera [and] its human subjects, and a lot of the banality of daily life, such as walking, eating, or just plain mooching around. These films include Michelangelo Frammartino's Le quattro volte (2010) and Abbas Kiarostami'A Taste of Cherry (1997). The chapter sets out the book's purpose, which is to analyze Tsai Ming-liang's films through a very particular lens of cinematic slowness. This book is not a comprehensive account of the films and directors who are generally identified with a cinema of slowness, though this body of work will be drawn into the discussion where appropriate. Neither is it a conventional book of auteur studies and makes no attempt at covering all of Tsai's films in a chronological or thematic fashion. What it examines is the overlapping area between Tsai Ming-liang and a cinema of slowness.
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