Sunday, March 04, 2007

Long Flicks: to Cut or Not to Cut?

I think a lot of films could do for cutting out of about 20 - 40 minutes. If you can maintain pace and interest at that length, that's fine. But any time you notice people starting to squirm or fidget in their seats, yeah, go ahead and cut something already.
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Director David Fincher knows some people may think his serial-killer saga "Zodiac" is too long at two hours, 40 minutes.

He's wondered the same thing himself but decided the film needed that much space to tell the story he wanted.

"Zodiac" and other recent epic-length films such as "The Good Shepherd" reflect an age-old Hollywood balancing act: satisfying filmmakers' artistic desires without causing audiences to squirm in their seats.

"I would have loved the movie to have been shorter. I just couldn't find a way to dramatically do that," said Fincher, whose previous films include "Fight Club" and "Se7en." "Nobody wants to wear out their welcome, but you want the audience to have a meaningful and varied experience.
"`The Godfather' merits all that time and more," said critic Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times and TV's "Ebert and Roeper and the Movies." "But 80 to 90 percent of the films I see could benefit from 10 to 15 minutes in cuts." (full story)

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