Roger Ebert wrote a fascinating report on a very long and meticulous viewing of Aguirre, the Wrath of God, which involved pausing after each shot to discuss its discursive elements. Altogether, the entire viewing took eight hours split over the course of several sessions.
This detailed approach to film prompted if:book’s Dan Visel to observe that this type of “reading” seems “luxurious,” and he invites us to become more luxe readers. To be fair, much of the content that we’re quickly consuming and discarding is designed to be disposable; news buylletins, weblog posts, Tweets, internet memes are all products of their temporal context. I think that most of today’s truly great works are being pored over. After all, isn’t that what scholars do?
But Visel might be on to something with this idea of luxury: many of my favorite books, plays, games, and films have taken on a whole new majesty after I spent hours dissecting them and writing about them. Perhaps it’s worth reminding people to stop and smell the roses.