The role of slow motion in film is versatile in nature. From bending the laws of time to gaze at a scene, to giving more detail to a critical moment, this technique serves as a dynamic tool to create innovative pacing. Moments in slo-mo also make room for the soundtrack to come into the forefront giving a more dramatic presence on screen. Besides, everything just looks cooler in slowed down.
Behold, our top 5 favorite moments in slo-mo. What would you add to the list?
1. Rushmore (1998)
In typical Wes Anderson fashion, the use of slow motion is a key factor in capturing a moment in all of it's dynamic emotions. In his sophomore film Rushmore, he gives a strong sense of space and place within the slo-mo shot (comes in at 3:20) making this into one of the strongest endings to date. Ooh La La by The Faces gives the perfect atmosphere of innocent love in this celebratory panorama.
2. The Matrix (1999)
In this iconic scene, we not only see an effective use of slow motion, we get to see physical and cinematic acrobatics in this film. The scoring from Don Davis sure doesn't hurt either, giving more depth to this spectacle. This is also one of Keanu Reeves best performances: a scene without dialogue (sorry to all of you Keanu fans out there).
3. Reservoir Dogs (1992)
In Quentin Tarantino's breakout film Reservoir Dogs, he sets the tone right at the opening credits giving a keen sense of character development in simple movements and gestures portrayed by each character. Little Green Bag by The George Baker Selection sets a strong mood right out of the gates. Spoiler alert - this is the most lighthearted part of the film.
4. Teen Wolf (1985)
Although dated, Teen Wolf holds a special spot in slow motion history with this epic sports scene (comes in at 7:07). The finale to this film is held high in our hearts as an archetype to the underdog sports genre. Michael J. Fox looks amazing as a wolf, and his facial hair is oddly relevant to the modern hipster asthetic.
5. Phosphorescent "Song For Zula" (2013)
This beautiful music video from Phosphorescent presents an entire experience in slow motion putting the viewer in a steady and moody place. With all of the footage in slo-mo, there is a vivid scene depicted, creating a fully immersive environment.