My Top 10 List of Brilliant Films Where Nothing Happens

Can I be alone in my longing for inarticulacy, for a cinema that refuses to join all the dots? For an arrhythmia in gesture, for a dissonance in shape? For the context of cinematic frame, a frame that in the end only cinema can provide, for the full view, the long shot, the space between, the gaps, the pause, the lull, the grace of living.
  
  – – Tilda Swinton‘s State of Cinema address, San Francisco Film Festival

I have compiled a list of movies I really like where pretty much nothing happens. In this age of nonstop-action films, these films dare to show the pause, the lull, the in-between, that which we call life. To say that nothing happens in these films is, of course, an oversimplification, and while these films are not boring, not by any stretch, they are the furthest thing from the climatic feeling you get in other films where a mystery gets solved, or when the two main characters finally fall into each others’ arms.

These films are certainly not for anyone, but those willing to risk losing ninety minutes off their lives, might gain so much more.

 
Lost in Translation (Japan, 2003) – Director: Sofia Coppola

 
Himalaya (Nepal, 1999) – Director: Eric Valli

 
The Band’s Visit (Israel, 2007) – Director: Eran Kolirin

 
The Way Home (South Korea, 2002) – Director: Jeong-hyang Lee

 
Elephant (USA, 2003) – Director: Gus Van Sant

 
The Mailman of China’s Mountains (China, 2003) – documentary

 
Our Daily Bread (Germany, 2005) – Director: Nikolaus Geyrhalter – documentary

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