Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Length of Movies: Longer than necessary, or Post Modern Impatience?

Happy New Year everyone. Looks like this will be the first new entry for the new year.. This idea came to me when watching a news segment on BBC news regarding the length of many current films, compared to films of the past. 

Traditionally, most films are precisely or just over the 90 minute mark. Lately with more current films however, have been known to go over that time, in some cases between 100-125min in length. 

At any rate, the segment went on suggesting that the length of many films nowadays might be too long for many that go see them, and those that direct and produce them should keep it in mind when creating these films. The counter-argument to this was that it is the director’s choice on how he/she wants to show the movie. Another point was perhaps this can be a sign in current society that perhaps our lack patience, and our attention span, has been drastically decreased.

I, to some degree, agree with the later part of this counter-argument. Considering how society is very rushed, with instant gratification and a lack of appreciation of the film storyline in general. Now don’t get me wrong, I appreciate a well edited movie that doesn’t drab on in its plot in one area, while feeling too rushed or confusing in other areas. Other films in the past have been like that. At the same time, I would upset me more if there was more taken away from a film due to time, just for the sake of time of the film over the quality of the plot. This is especially true for films based on a novel series, historical based films, or with more recent genres, comic based films. I mean these are the type of films that you should NEVER cut short.

There are reasons why some films are as long as they are, in order to tell a story, and tell it properly. Should it truly be the fault of the producers that make a lengthier film and those that simply have a very short attention span? Yes that’s sounds harsh, but I personally find those that complain about a length of a film that is profoundly interesting, but are more concerned of seeing the film for the sake of seeing the film. Yes I’ve said before, I typically see films in order to be entertained, but as many of you already know, for me there’s much more to a film than just entertainment. If that wasn’t the case, I don’t think D.A. and I wouldn’t have created this blog.

I’m just saying if you can’t appreciate the film for what its worth, despite the potential length of the movie, then why bother to see the film to begin with? Might as well eat your popcorn at home for tv and internet shows... …Thoughts?

1 comment:

  1. Nicely put, M. Wanderer.

    I hate when people say "the book was better." Books and movies are entirely separate mediums, and people romanticize the experience of imagining the action they read; infrequently does the film interpretation meet that lofty standard.

    I have had a few experiences reading a book and then seeing the movie, and I enjoyed both separately, for what they were.

    The length of a movie should be proportional to the time it takes to tell a story. No need to go long if there's no warranting it. I, personally, don't think the essential story that is the Lord of the Rings required ten hours to tell...but then, I didn't read the book(s)., maybe it did...??

    If a movie needs time to tell the story, and it's a compelling story, I want it to take its time. Django Unchained, for example, didn't seem long to me at all. (I agree with some that there seems to have been a natural ending, beyond which Tarantino needn't have continued...but the crazy events following that seemingly natural ending reflect the "spaghetti western" aspect of the film; again, while depicting some historical/period accuracy, this was not a documentary).

    All in all, attention span is the issue with today's audience. As we heard in My Cousin Vinnie, "no self-respecting Southerner uses 'instant grits', cooking good grits takes time." The "minute rice, ready-in-five-minutes, just add water, sound bite, 140 characters society in which we live today has lost sense of not only the value of time, but the value of taking time.


What do you think?!