Life may be slower than usual due to COVID-19, but one of the eternal pleasures of spending time in nature is that it always forces us out of our busy, work/childcare/technology-addled rhythms. Slow moment films work the same way: imagery unfolds in real time, creating a meditative, immersive escape that rewards close attention but works equally well as a soothing background.
This short Slow Moment film takes you to Blatchley Nature Study Club, a private preserve along the banks of the White River in Hamilton County. It’s an early spring day: you’ll hear the cacophony of birds, creaks of swaying trees, trickle of running water and sighing of breezes through grasses and branches. We’ve incorporated a few of our favorite nature writings, too, for further reflection.
You can watch the film on your own, gather in-person with housemates, or invite friends to watch with you online. To guide your viewing and thinking, you’ll find a few prompts below. These make excellent conversation or writing starters, too!
We recommend disconnecting from phones or other distractions as you watch.
Pay attention to your own attentiveness. Is watching a slow film easy or hard? What makes it so? How does it subvert your normal experience of watching film?
In each shot, choose an image or sound to follow closely. What is it? What do you notice the longer you watch or listen?
Is there a scene that reminds you of a place you love? Where is that place? What do you do when you visit? Do you like to go there on your own or share with others?
Can you see or hear traces of humans in the film? How often do you notice human impact on nature? What actions do you take to counteract humans’ harmful effects on the environment?
In “Riverwalking” (4:40) Moore describes herself as “half-observing, half-immersed.” Have you ever felt this sensation in any setting, and if so, where?
In the film we hear, “The river carries a history of the land... The river carries my own history” (5:49). What histories do the rivers and streams carry where you live? What waterway carries your personal history?
Appleman’s poem is called “Memo to the 21st Century”—an elegiac dispatch to the future describing what it was like in Indiana. If you were writing to the future about what Indiana is like now, what images or ideas would you convey?
What imagery or ideas from Moore’s “Riverwalking” or Appleman’s “Memo to the 21st Century” struck you? Do you hear or see anything different in the film because of the texts, or notice anything differently in the texts because of the film?
Create and share your own Slow Moment and upload to Instagram using hashtag #INSlowMoments.
About 12 Stars Media
12 Stars Media is a team of Indiana-based filmmakers who tell the stories of interesting characters who inspire communities to make positive changes.