Time slows to a crawl in films featuring slo-mo looks at subway stops

Mike Krumboltz, Yahoo News

Adam Magyar is a filmmaker with a unique perspective. His recent series of short films,  slow-motion looks at travelers waiting for trains at subway stations in New York, Berlin and Tokyo, cast a hypnotic spell.

"I used to spend months looking at life around me and trying to comprehend it," he wrote to Yahoo News over email. "We live in the past and in the future and tend to forget about the enormous gift that we are given — existence — by spending too much time of our lives feeling bad."

Magyar shot the footage at three stations on three continents. The high-speed video camera he used, made by Optronis, is the type sometimes used to record crash test footage. He explained that his videos are 56 times longer than reality. "The sound is the train's sound, slowed down by the same scale," he added.

Below, footage from Tokyo's Shinjuku station.

Asked if any of the subjects stand out, Magyar said, "The two running girls in the Berlin video were a tremendous gift." Their presence "greatly changed the perception of the video," he said.  Still, he notes that he sees all the faces in the video as equal.

It's easy to imagine what each traveler must be thinking. Hurried, bored, happy, annoyed. Each face tells a story.

Here's the footage from the Alexanderplatz station in Berlin. Note the two girls running in the background.

"I'm fascinated by the fact that life is happening to us, rather than simply people's faces," he told Yahoo News. "We tend to forget about our time, and we take our life for granted. We have the false impression that our time is infinite, although we all know that it is not."

For more of Magyar's work, check out his official site.

Follow Mike Krumboltz on Twitter (@mikekrumboltz).