Tag Archives: Public Enemies

More music

Matt Yglesias thinks summer blockbusters (most recently, Public Enemies) are too long:

I feel like it’s way more common to walk out of a theater feeling that a movie was too long than to walk out feeling like I wished there’d been 15 more minutes. I don’t think I’m alone in this feeling. So what’s going on?

I can’t speak for Mr. Depp’s film, but Up is a great recent example of a short movie that doesn’t need to be any longer. Pixar wound the story, the jokes, the visuals so tightly that any more screen time would have watered it down. Just ask George Lucas: the second trio of Star Wars flicks were, on average, ten minutes longer than the originals.

I’m not sure the same applies for music. Off the top of my head, I can come up with a handful of songs I like, that I wish were a verse or two longer: the first and third songs on In the Aeroplane over the Sea, Carry That Weight, and Conor Oberst’s NYC-Gone Gone, to name a few. This last one is the worst offender: a ripping guitar riff, that only lasts 1:12. Perhaps the song would have been ruined by an extra minute, but in sticking with the musical theme of the week, I offer the King as evidence: Billie Jean, Man in the Mirror, Thriller, and Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough were all over 4:50.

So there you have it. Movies should be shorter; songs should be longer.

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