After discovering this short clip of Cate Blanchett, I really needed to understand the reasons why we love slow-motion images so much. I started to dig a little deeper. When we watch something in slow-motion, everything and everyone seems to appear cooler and casual as the situation normally allows. The most uncool acting person could start looking cool. How is this possible?
Actually, understanding it is pretty simple: In slow-motion, we are able to see what we could not see before. Extreme slow-motion pictures make shortest processes visible for our eyes. Then, our eyes tell our brain what is going on.
If we see a group of people passing by at normal speed, there are a lot of things we cannot grasp. Everything moves too quickly. Maybe, you can concentrate on a couple of details: like how the wind makes hair and clothes appear so lively. But if you could see them again – this time in slow-motion – their gestures and characteristics would be more prominent for your eyes. You would be able to see so much more.
Slow-motion works wonders. It is often used in action cinema. How else could you see the tiniest details of an expensive explosion? But it can also be used to make us get in the head of a character and watch the scene from his eyes. Martin Scorsese loves to do that. The Youtube channel „The Discarded Image“ explains it fantastically. You can see moments of wonder, jealousy, love, and so much more.
Emotions are the heroes of slow-motion pictures. Romantic longing, heartbreak, joy and sadness, simply everything can be brought to us easier than words can do. Underlined with perfectly fitting music, you will have a perfectly emotional scene.
Wes Anderson, for example, loves to end his films with slow-motion scenes. It gives the viewer enough time to arrange his thoughts. For me, it is enough time to handle that melancholic feeling in my belly, while saying goodbye to a film that felt like it ended too fast. You wallow in memories and revel in colours.
Finally, we come to the part I wanted to show you anyway. While searching the web for information, I found the Youtube channel The Slow Mo Guys. Although their videos seem to have a scientific taste, the slow-motion pictures of a special bowl making water splash will blow your mind. Did you know that water drops can look like crystals? Have a look.