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Monday, July 11, 2016

There is no such thing as a piece of entertainment that's too short

Good line from Alec Baldwin's "Here's The Thing" interview with former Disney boss Michael Eisner. Now that Eisner doesn't run a studio any more he can be a lot franker than he would have been back in the day. Talking about one former boss, he recalls hearing that he'd died and his partner saying "I hope it was painful". Pressed to name one of the movies he produced that he's particularly proud of, he can't get past the feelings he had at the time. "The first time you see a movie and it starts well, all you're hoping is it's going to end quickly."

Boy, I sympathise with that point of view. If something's going well, my instinct is to wrap it up as soon as possible, before it overstays its welcome. The minute you think, this is going OK, it's about to be not OK. If only rock stars and film directors were capable of recognising this feeling.

The recent death of Michael Cimino reminded me that his original cut of "Heaven't Gate" was five and a half hours long. He apologised, saying he could take fifteen minutes out of it. What was he thinking?

I was talking to an old friend last week and we agreed that as you get older you're more inclined to find that everything goes on too long and we decided there is literally no piece of entertainment about which you would say, "I could have done with another half an hour of that."