Thursday 8 July 2010

The Law Of Inverse Proportionality

Conclusion: 104 minutes is the perfect length for a film.

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  1. Stupid!

    Says who?

  2. Er... says me, obv. You haven't got the hang of this, have you?

  3. So according to this, a film made in 1969 lasting 152.5 minutes would be the perfect mediocre film.

    Better get searching...

  4. If this blog achieves nothing else, the fact that you were moved to work that out gives me a pleasant stirring in my nethers.

  5. So going by this logic films such as the following are terrible.

    Gone with the Wind
    Dances with Wolves
    Lawrence of Arabia
    Ben Hur
    Lord of the Rings films
    The Ten Commandments
    Seven Samurai
    Apocalypse Now
    The Godfather films
    Doctor Zhivago
    Schindler's List

    And that these films are perfect because they run exactly 104 minutes.
    Beverly Hills Cop III
    The Faculty
    The Hot Chick
    Jeepers Creepers 2
    Red Heat
    Step Up
    Summer Catch
    Varsity Blues
    X-Men: The Last Stand

    So in conclusion the length of the film has nothing at all to do with the quality of the same.

    That would be like saying that vehicles with a certain wheelbase are perfect.
    Or that songs that are only a certain length are perfect.

    So don't make stupid generalizations to try and make a far fetched conclusion. It's idiotic and makes you look almost as stupid.

  6. Thank you for the advice on how not to make myself look stupid.

  7. Gee you really are that dense and stupid?

    If you had actually made an intelligent post about this topic I may have agreed with you.
    But you made an idiotic conclusion based on some idiotic idea, so you deserve to be criticized for it.

    Honestly if you had made some points about specific scenes or aspects of the film that you thought was wrong, that's fine. But a dumb conclusion that a films length has anything to do with a film being perfect is absurd.

  8. Does anyone here have a sense of humour?

  9. One advice, anonymous, don't go and look at this blog's 30-minute freeze-frame challenge: season one...
    You will NOT like it.

  10. I love the internet. Everyone's an asshole!

  11. I can't believe I forgot to say in the post - the more vowels in a film's title, the better the soundtrack is. Conversely, more consonants equals worse cinematography. I don't make this stuff up, it's statistically proven. I can back it up with another graph if you like.

  12. Dear Annonymous.
    Might I suggest that you read, say, er, any other post on this remarkable blog, or indeed the strapline under the title, and then re-read this post bearing context in mind. You nerk.

  13. In his review of Synecdoche, New York, Charlie Ultra Culture suggests the following:

    "It has the perfect runtime for a drama film - 120 minutes excluding credits. Incidentally, the perfect runtime for a comedy film is 95 minutes."


    I've been attempting to compile a list of maxims we should be followed in order to make a good film. Nothing specific, nothing like "Don't employ Martin Lawrence." Structural suggestions, mistakes that are made time and again.

    So far, it boils down to:

    "Every film should have a duration that ends on the half hour."

    In other words, if a film's duration is 1:40, it's ten minutes too long; if it's 1:50 it's ten minutes too short and if it's 2:10 it's ten minutes too long and, well, you get the idea. But I've never been able to work myself around 1:45 films. Which way to go? Which way? I think you can see what happened when I read this:

    "It has the perfect runtime for a drama film - 120 minutes excluding credits. Incidentally, the perfect runtime for a comedy film is 95 minutes."

    I feel like Crick & Watson when they realised what Rosalind Franklin had been up to, though I'm giving Lyne the credit here. Let's add the two together:

    "Every film should have a duration that ends on the half hour. If it's a drama that should be two hours; if its a comedy, an hour and a half."

    We can quibble about the other five minutes later. And it works. There are very few dramas that can justify being longer than two hours. The Dark Knight is 152 minutes and feels it and so does Spiderman 3 at 139 minutes and feel it.*

    Except when it doesn't work. I was watching Hitchcock's Stage Freight last year. It's wonderful, especially Alistair Sim's performance. But I also think it is too long. It's 1:45. It would be perfect at an hour and a half with less of the running about in the middle. But isn't it a drama? Well yes, and no. Hitch injects an awful lot of comedy in there, especially in relation to Sim. And what about some action films? Let's modify things again:

    "Every film should have a duration that ends on the half hour. A drama should be two hours, a comedy an hour and a half, but if it's a bit of both, it depends how funny it is."

  14. Of course, in the case of King Kong, 104 minutes is just right. Although in my head, the best version of Peter Jackson's King Kong misses out Skull Island. We watch the boat leave port, there's an intermission and then we're back up on it turning up in the harbour again ...

  15. I should have said all that, then I wouldn't have been attacked for merely reporting the facts.

  16. Are the reel statistics real statistics or CGI (Contrived Graphic Inventions)?

  17. Incidentally, I watched Wolverine last night which is 107 mins including credits. It is indeed thirteen minutes (more character building and one action sequence) too short.

  18. I think I might argue that Wolverine is in fact 107 minutes too long.

  19. Those of us old enough to remember the excitement of being taken to see The Sound of Music on first release may also remember UseNet NewsGroups (a bit like Blogs but more non-proportional font and less graphical).

    The darker corners of some NGs were populated by Trolls, whose sole purpose in life was to stir-up argument. Having spent many minutes researching this subject, I am of the belief that Anonymous is a descendant of one of these strange creatures. His curious ejaculations indicate, I believe, that this strange sub-species has evolved to a stage at which such behaviour is automatic and beyond their conscious control. I shall be notifying an Attenborough.

    Incidentally, if the graph at the head of this post had been correctly labelled on the Y axis, much of this controversy could have been avoided. I'm assuming that the point of origin is zero, otherwise many of the conclusions drawn are, to say the least, questionable. Understandable that in the excitement of discovery and eagerness to publish, such mistakes are made, but lessons must be learned from this.

  20. The point of origin was a dusty corner of my brain that I don't use very often. And after this fiasco I understand why.