It would seem paradoxical for a film to be both excessive and minimalist, and yet this synthesis is exactly what Wim Wenders achieves with Kings of the Road, taking a storyline so small that it strains the very definition of the term and blowing it out to epic length.
Star! was a movie solely predicated on the idea that audiences would turn out in droves simply to see Julie Andrews in another grand-scale musical. It gives her no conflicts. It dramatizes no challenges for her to overcome. And it lasts 2 hours and 53 minutes.
Martin Scorsese's Silence is about entering into the cloud of unknowing, the dark night of the soul, listening to the silence of God and waiting eternally for a response.
Clocking in at 152 minutes, Funny People is practically a Lav Diaz film in comparison to its American studio comedy brethren.
The Return of the King is an object lesson in satisfying endings. Each one is necessary, a coda for an important story thread; each one folds in on the others like the pages of a book.
In the images from Sátántangó that still cling to me, I see my mind’s selective memory: its search at work. How the memories of scenes become not a catalogue of the film, but another creation altogether.
We are so used to films that rush us through emotions, showing us something real being felt, before quickly cutting to the next scene. A film like The Emigrants, open to experiencing difficult emotions and sharing them with its audience, can only do so sensitively, and with time.