Maybe it’s my age, and that I get tired. Maybe it’s the ease with which shows can be stopped and started these days. Maybe it’s the number of short, easy to digest series available. Maybe it’s that our attention spans are getting worse. Maybe the movies just aren’t as good anymore. Who knows, but what I know is, it seems like making it through a full movie in one go is not like it used to be.
Take the old classic, The Matrix, for example. It runs for 2 hours 30 minutes. That’s a long time. Yet it didn’t stop me going to the movies on opening night and sitting enraptured the entire way through. It was standard fare to hire a DVD or watch a movie on TV on a Friday or Saturday night, no matter how long it was.
These days, when I look at a movie’s running time and it edges toward 2 hours, I’m suddenly very tired. I’m not sure I want to commit to that. It’s been a long day, and it’s already close to 9pm. Is it really worth starting a movie now? Nah, let’s just watch a couple of episodes of How I met your mother and call it a night.
The solution that we’ve come up with, is to think of those long, daunting movies as a series. It could be a two part series, or it could be a four part series. If we really lose interest part way through and decide to the pull the pin, I generally can’t let it go, and will finish while doing my physio exercises over the course of the next days… which can make it up to a 10 part series!
Somehow it feels better doing it this way. Occasionally we even sit through a whole movie, be it planned or by accident. But if we don’t, the next bite seems more palatable a day later. And boom, another movie down. Sure, it’s not right for every movie, but for those that seem a little overwhelming time-wise, or for those nights when you’re just not ready to commit, I think it’s a good compromise. Maybe this way I’ll finally get through The Godfather!