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Concerning the slow / fast motion debate:
 
I'm most intrigued by this topic - especially when it comes to define the
rhetoric uses or the significance of these devices. It reminds me of the
classical discussion if and how painters were able to depict the
transgression of ordinary time (or the time of the story told), and how
painting as a static means of expression can fulfill such difficult
tasks, as for instance visualize the EK-STASIS in religious experience.
Painters (and sculptors) used similar means to "freeze the frame" and they
had similar difficulties to discriminate such states of mind "beyond the time"
from - death. I'm not sure if the freeze frame at the end of THELMA & LOUISE
for instance means "death" or regression on the story level; but this
has to be decided by interpreting more than just this last scene.
 
Another thing is the general significance of time distortion in film.
Obviously, these conspicuous devices which contradict the medium in its
normal flow are always a sign of selfreflexivity. Absolute stillstand in
film doesn't exist; even freeze frames bear the traces of the former
movement and comment on the sine qua non of film. The same goes for fast
motion: as motion there always is, it can't be outbidden by speed. But
speed can be a rhetorical figure and a - theme...
 
Concerning theory about time (and space) in cinema, what about Gilles
Deleuze's L'image-mouvement (1983) and L'image-temps (1985)? Any comments?
 
Meret Ernst
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