The Long Take: Art Cinema and the Wondrous

In The Long Take, Lutz Koepnick posits extended shot durations as a powerful medium for exploring different modes of perception and attention in our fast-paced world of mediated stimulations. Grounding his inquiry in the long takes of international filmmakers such as Béla Tarr, Tsai Ming-liang, Abbas Kiarostami, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, and Michael Haneke, Koepnick reveals how their films evoke wondrous experiences of surprise, disruption, enchantment, and reorientation. He proceeds to show how the long take has come to thrive in diverse artistic practices across different media platforms: from the work of photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto to the screen-based installations of Sophie Calle and Tacita Dean, from experimental work by Francis Alÿs and Janet Cardiff to durational images in contemporary video games.

Deeply informed by film and media theory, yet written in a fluid and often poetic style, The Long Take goes far beyond recent writing about slow cinema. In Koepnick’s account, the long take serves as a critical hallmark of international art cinema in the twenty-first century. It invites viewers to probe the aesthetics of moving images and to recalibrate their sense of time. Long takes unlock windows toward the new and unexpected amid the ever-mounting pressures of 24/7 self-management.

“The Long Take develops an expansive and nuanced account of wondrous looking. Lutz Koepnick strikes a hopeful and appropriately curious tone, highlighting the multiple settings and situations in which spectatorship can be both embodied and unguarded.”

Maeve Connolly

“The Long Take demonstrates a masterful command of film, media, and visual theory. With vivid descriptions, Lutz Koepnick illuminates and elucidates the use of the long take in film and art with a prose that is at once accessible and intelligent. An ambitious and magisterial work.

Nora M. Alter

University of Minnesota Press, December 2017
$27.00 paper ISBN 978-0-8166-9588-1
$108.00 cloth ISBN 978-0-8166-9584-3
288 pages, 42 b&w photos, 5 1/2 x 8 1/2

Share Button