Are Movies Too Long These Days? — IndieWire Critics Survey

IndieWire | 10/22/2018 | Staff
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Last week, Uproxx published an article called “Attack of the Two Hour and 20 Minute Movies!,” in which writer Vince Mancini bemoaned a rash of supposedly overlong films at a time when many indies run 80-something minutes, and streaming services allow viewers to binge more extended content in the comfort of their own homes. This Friday, Lee Chang-dong’s 148-minute “Burning” and the even longer “Suspiria” will open in limited release, continuing what Mancini believes to be a nefarious trend.

This week’s question: Are movies too long these days?

Notions - Times - Attention - Spans - Works

Conventional notions regarding running times or attention spans don’t apply to the works of Filipino master Lav Diaz, who continues to tell expansive stories that make zero promises of mass appeal. He has liberated his artistic expression from commercial concerns, and in the process alienated many who find his lengthy, black-and-white, subdued films difficult to approach.

His 2016 entrancing effort “The Woman Who Left,” which earned him the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, is, at nearly four hours long, one of his shortest. It is a haunting social drama with undertones of a revenge thriller that is absolutely rewarding and compulsively watchable. No frame is unaccounted for as the story introduces new characters and conflicts at every step of the prolonged way to support its quiet roar against injustice and its compassion for the marginalized.

Decades - Crime - Horacia - Charo - Santos-Concio

Released after several decades being incarcerated from a crime she didn’t commit, Horacia (Charo Santos-Concio) has no illusions of rebuilding the life that was ripped from her, but is determined to remind those responsible of their crime. In nearly four hours, Diaz’s most accessible production enraptures its audience like a high-octane thriller, but commanding the intriguing lives of morally flawed individuals instead of explosive set pieces.

Watching “The Woman Who Left” from start to finish in one sitting is a...
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