Once in awhile, bigger — and longer — can be better. But is a long movie really a measure of “aiming high”?
The recently convened Toronto Film Festival will “be known for extremely long movies, as directors aim high with ambitious dramas to compete with television and other media,” so notes an article from the Sept. 14 Wall Street Journal. Five films shown in Toronto broke the two-hour barrier, including THE MASTER at 137 minutes and CLOUD ATLAS at 172 minutes. But can a long movie really ever ever compete with our ability to devour an mini series for days on end?
I recently had the distinct pleasure of enjoying a fabulous dinner at the legendary Charlie Trotter’s restaurant. The experience lasted more than three hours, about the same time it takes to savor the impeccable film LAWRENCE OF ARABIA (216 minutes). A few weeks later, I was delighted with a stand-up dining experience at the Wisconsin State Fair, featuring grilled corn on the cob, a brat, and a Spotted Cow beer. After the fair, we settled in the back yard to watch REAR WINDOW in all of its brilliant 112-minutes. Neither experience trumped the other. Both perfectly memorable.
The extended cinematic experience has its place in our limited amount of time on earth. But too much of a good thing can always end up being too much of a good thing.
For a list of the longest movies ever made, go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_longest_films_by_running_time