Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Pacing Scale

Below I've provided a scale of pacing by director from fastest to slowest. It is based mostly on my general estimates of the cut-rates combined with a more subjective value of the overall pacing. It semi-averages across the director's entire career so, for instance, Tony Scott's hyperspeed "Domino" and brisk "Top Gun" are tempered somewhat by "The Hunger." Basically, I am trying to say this isn't an exact science.

I'd also like to mention that I don't consider fast pacing to be an intrinsically good quality nor slow pacing intrinsically bad. I am of the opinion that Bay and Schumacher are awful directors while Hsiao-Hsien and Angelopoulos are genius. Just the same, the pacing should be consistent and fit the aethestic of the film as a whole.


Baz Luhrmann
Sergei Eisenstein
John Woo
Michael Bay
Roberto Rodriguez
Luc Besson
Tony Scott
Joel Schumacher
Quentin Tarantino
Tom Tykwer
Oliver Stone
Stephen Spielberg
Martin Scorsese
Tim Burton
Howard Hawks
Alfred Hitchcock
Billy Wilder
Sam Peckinpah
Orson Welles
William Wyler
David Lynch
Francois Traffaut
David Lean
Roman Polanski
Akira Kurosawa
Peter Greenaway
Eric Rohmer
Jean Renoir
Wim Wenders
Kenji Mizoguchi
Jacques Tati
Yasujiro Ozu
Andrei Tarkovski
Tsai Ming-Ling
Hou Hsiao-Hsien
Theo Angelopoulos
Bela Tarr



Unknown said...

Woo, Michael Bay!

Mahonie said...

Cool list!
And a very “debatable” subject, although no one will question Bela Tarr’s position. I actually sat through Satantango in the cinema back then.... all I can remember after these years are all those cows.

Most of my favorite directors are in the middle of the list.

FilmWalrus said...

I am actually not extremely familiar with Tarr's work, but for me he has come the closest of any director to simultaneously incurring aesthetic pleasure and a coma. I have a mixture of fear and anticipation when it comes to approaching "Satantango."

Mad Dog said...

No Baz Luhrman (I misspelled that, I know)?

FilmWalrus said...

Mad Dog,

An excellent suggestion! Luhrmann easily takes the highest place averaged across career. His scant three pics to date have all been well under 2 second per shot mark. Eisenstein, though he invented lightning cutting, is mellowed by his late career achievements that moved beyond pure montage.

Anonymous said...

It could be listed by geographical areas as well:


North America
South America
Northern Europe
Mediterranean Europe
Middle East
Eastern Europe


I don't know where insert African cinema, sorry.

FilmWalrus said...

I love it. I would put Africa somewhere around Mediterranean, but I've only seen films from a few African countries.

There is always the danger/fun of lumping completely disparate styles together. The only problem I see is that Asia hits all over the place. Consider:


Miike (Japan)
Hong Kong
South Korea
contemporary Japan
golden age Japan (Ozu, Kurosawa, Mizoguchi)
Hong Sang-soo (South Korea)
Russia (unless we say "Far East")