SCREEN-L Archives

February 2002, Week 1


Options: Use Monospaced Font
Show Text Part by Default
Show All Mail Headers

Message: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Topic: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Author: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]

Print Reply
Kirsten Moana Thompson <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 7 Feb 2002 13:21:00 -0500
text/plain (33 lines)
Dear Georgi,
I can't be completely scientific in terms of a statistical inquiry as to
percentages of length increases, but there certainly has been a trend in
terms of 3 hour lengths for blockbusters in the last few years, and even in
3 recent films I saw--Black Hawk Down, In the Bedroom and Gosford Park, all
of which I believe were 2 hours 20 minutes (and which varied according to
genre, budget and "prestige  value").  In terms of what accounts for
it--since at least the seventies, and accelerating in the eighties and
nineties, the big-budget, high production value blockbuster (often a special
effects-laden, science fiction film) has driven the marketing  and economic
strategies of Hollywood.  Gladiator was a new innovation, in terms of a
reprise of the old blockbuster genre of the fifties--the Roman epic.  Long
films offer spectacle, and epic scale  (think back to the Godfather cycle)
and are marketed as 'special-event pictures' thus justifying their often
unwieldy narrative scale.  The nuances of  very recent contemporary
increases are yet unclear, and remain to be researched, but compared to the
Classical Hollywood period (1929-1960) there is a definite change from the
previously standard 90 minute feature American film.

Dr Kirsten Moana Thompson
Assistant Professor
Department of English
Wayne State University

[log in to unmask]

For past messages, visit the Screen-L Archives: