This essay considers the aesthetic and cultural importance of the slow, contemplative thriller in contemporary world cinema. While the thriller genre tends to be associated completely with the mainstream—and thus with action-oriented rhythms and Hitchcockian paradigms of suspense—there are alternative tendencies in global art cinema that relish more dilatory time schemes, more minimalist mise en scène, and more meditative atmospheres. Surveying multiple national and transnational contexts, this essay explores how the slow thriller functions as key manifestation of global art cinema’s evolving hybridity and impurity. Looking at films such as Bruno Dumont’s L’humanité(1999) and Lee Chang-dong’s Burning(2018), this essay shows how the slow arthouse thriller stages a dialogue with popular cinema while practicing suspense by other, more pensive means. The fate of the slow thriller in today’s shifting media landscape, in which digital streaming has become the primary locus of film viewing, is also considered. David Lynch’s television series Twin Peaks: The Return(2017) is discussed as a slow, contemplative thriller that renegotiates the place and function of the arthouse theater.
The Jesuit and Franciscan mission periods in New Spain's western province of Nayarit claimed numerous converts to Christianity, principally Cora Indians. Despite the efforts of missionaries and presidial soldiers, the indigenous residents of this rugged mountainous region persisted in clandestine non-Christian religious rituals. The extirpation of this "idolatry" was uneven, and the Coras emerged from the nineteenth century with a uniquely forged ceremonial tradition that fuses Catholic and indigenous practice and belief.