Killers of The Flower Moonwas released on October 20, 2023. At three and a half hours long, it's an epic, at least in runtime. In the golden age of TikTok and short formate videos, would something that long still be able to survive, much less thrive?
Martin Scorsese has been on an interview bonanza for this film and has shared more than his fair share of hot takes.
But in an interview with Hindustan Times, the legendary director shared some interesting advice for the audience. It's all about respect.
Big Film, Big Screen
A film can come in many sizes. It can be larger than life like Ben-Hur, or a small film like Onyx the Fortuitous and the Talisman of Souls. While both can be seen on the big screen, Ben-Hur doesn't really pop the same way on an iPhone or tablet.
For Scorsese, it's all about the big screen. "Killers could play on a small screen, but in order to truly immerse yourself, you should take out the time," Scorsese said. "There are many people who watch (live) theater for 3.5 hours. There are real actors on stage. You can't get up and walk around. You give it that respect. Give cinema some respect."
In a world where cinema and film have been relegated to content, there is some truth to that statement.
Have we lost respect for the cinematic arts?
No matter the size of a movie, it deserves at least the respect to see it on a big screen without the interruptions of a second screen. But having said that, as we move into a world where we need more and more to consume, can we even take the time to make something worth watching? Even if we do, will people appreciate it
Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio in “Killers of the Flower Moon”
Credit: Apple Original Films
How Long Should Runtime Be?
As filmmakers, we often ask that question. How much dialogue should a scene have? How many cuts should I make in the edit? How long should my film be?
Whatever the form that question takes, it's always a question about how our film should be crafted so it will be well received by audiences.
But the longer you stay in this business, medium, or craft, the more you realize the answer always comes down to the story. If your story demands it, your movies can be 3.5 hours long.
For Scorsese, every film came down to that idea of what his story needed, from Raging Bull to The Wolf of Wall Street. "I played with each film in a way that I could find a new way to tell the story."
In the end, the answers will always spring forth from the needs of your story. Trying to figure out how to understand the language so you can comprehend those needs is the journey we all struggle through as creatives.
Source: Hindustan Times