In Defense of Slow and Boring Films

What is boring? This question was inspired by a piece in the May 1 edition of The New York Times Magazine by Dan Kois that offered a cheerful conformist’s take on what in certain circles is sometimes termed slow cinema and that he simply finds boring, the equivalent of eating his “cultural vegetables.” Mr. Kois writes that he knows he’s supposed to embrace celebrated films that he variously describes as “slow-moving, meditative” and “stately, austere” and “deliberately paced.”

But he can’t, won’t, doesn’t like or understand them. In this he empathizes with his 6-year-old daughter, Lyra, who, at a friend’s urging, tuned into “Phineas and Ferb,” a TV show that she doesn’t fully get but watches “aspirationally, as a sort of challenge to herself.”



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