By David Zou
Length in filmmaking doesn’t always necessarily translate to quality. Some filmmakers can overindulge their ideas and end up creating sprawling messes; the narrative of other films can meander too much and lose the interest of its audience.
While an average feature film length will hover around the 90-120-minute mark, what’s most important is what time is needed to craft the best film a director can: Paul Thomas Anderson made the lengthy and dense Boogie Nights and Magnolia before deciding to make the much-shorter Punch-Drunk Love in response to his previous exertions; all are great and the needs of the films suited their eventual running times.
When a film does use its length productively, the results can be excellent. This list looks at 10 such long films that audiences have responded greatly to, and each never falters in its length, and are often masterful because of it.
1. Short Cuts (188 minutes)
For a film based on nine short stories by Raymond Carver, perhaps a running time of 189 minutes was still not enough. Short Cuts (1993) follows 22 different characters playing out their distinct lives and at various moments of connection.
It’s formally audacious and innovative yet Robert Altman ties it all together; the length never feels stretched, and one would be happy to spend more time considering these characters on screen.
Altman had experimented before with overlapping storylines in his work, with satirical extravaganza Nashville, and Carver’s stories were the perfect platform for him to do it again. Altman makes us want to study these characters. Some actually interact with one another; others merely pass by in the smallest of moments.
With a film of this scope, casting was of paramount importance, and the actors are resoundingly excellent, including Jennifer Jason Leigh as → continue…
From:: Taste Of Cinema