Tuesday, 1 August 2017

August 2017 – R.I.P. actress Jeanne Moreau, The duration of movies, The Emoji Movie, The Dark Tower, The Nut Job 2, and Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.

Hi Everyone,

Rest in peace iconic French actress Jeanne Moreau – who died in the city of her birth (Paris, France) yesterday at the age of 89. My favourite film of hers (as I'm a huge Orson Welles fan) is Chimes at Midnight (1965) – a Welles film centred around the exploits of Shakespeare's tragic/comedic character Falstaff. Moreau played the colourful Doll Tearsheet in the movie. Other Jeanne Moreau films I have especially enjoyed include Jules et Jim (1962) - directed by Francois Trauffaut, andViva Maria! (1965) co-starring Brigitte Bardot. Moreau won a BAFTA for her role in Viva Maria! and she was also awarded lifetime achievement prizes at both the BAFTAs and Academy Awards (in 1996 and 1998 respectively).

Two very different looks for Jeanne Moreau – with Orson Welles in Shakespearean drama Chimes at Midnight and Brigette Bardot in comedy adventure Viva Maria! Both films were released in 1965.

As I glanced at a list of this Summer's UK movie releases, I noticed that we've recently had one feature film that was very short indeed and one that was rather long. (My Life as a Courgette lasts a mere hour and ten minutes while Transformers: The Last Knight weighs in at a hefty 149 mins). Neither of these durations is typical, of course. If asked to guess, I would estimate that the average film today lasted about two hours.

An avid viewer of films on TV and in the cinema as a child (growing up in the 1960s and 70s) my impression is that movies at that time were considerately shorter in duration compared to the films of today. The trend is for modern feature films to be longer. I shall leave for today the question as to why this lengthening is happening (if it is) and the row about movies perhaps being “padded out” to fit in with today's experience of seeing just one movie - rather than two films on the bill (which was the case years ago). But, am I right? Is it true that movies made today are significantly longer than the films produced, say, eighty years ago – perhaps even around half an hour longer (on average)? That is my contention, but we shall see. I thought it would be interesting to do a little analysis on the topic.

I have listed - by way of comparison – a selection of films from 2016/17 and from the years 1936/37. Though I've made one or two random choices as to what to include, broadly speaking the following films are the top box office movies of their respected years. (60 films in each list). Has the duration of the average movie increased over the intervening years? If it has, is it by the 30 minutes I suspect is the case? Let's find out.

Above Jpegs © Mal van London 2017

So, what do the above figures tell us about the top box office films of eighty years ago and of today? Here are the results:-

The average duration of the films released in 1936/37 was approximately 102 minutes. The average duration of the films released (so far) in 2016/17 is 117 minutes. (This is an increase of roughly 15%).

Therefore, although this is hardly a rigorous scientific study, it seems as if the average length of the top box office films of today is around 15 minutes longer than it was 80 years ago. It's less than I thought, but the tendency toward longer films is there. Now, for all of you who are still awake...

The big films released in the UK in August 2017 include The Emoji Movie, The Dark Tower, The Nut Job 2, and Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. Here's a picture from each of those movies to whet your appetite:-

The Emoji Movie © 2017 CTMG, Inc. All Rights Reserved. (Sony Pictures Animation)

The Dark Tower © 2017 CTMG, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

The Nut Job: Nutty By Nature © Rednover © 2017 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets © 2017 Lionsgate Pictures. All Rights Reserved.

Here's a comprehensive run down of the August 2017 new releases:-

The major films are: A Ghost Story, American Made, An Inconvenient Sequel, Annabelle: Creation, Atomic Blonde, Detroit, Everything Everything, Logan Lucky, Maudie, Napping Princess, Overdrive, Pawn Sacrifice, Rough Night, The Emoji Movie, The Hitman's Bodyguard, The Nut Job 2: Nutty By Nature, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, and Your Name.

Limited or “key cities” releases include: A Gentleman, Bending the Arc, Dark Night, Hotel Salvation, In Bed with Victoria, Jab Harry met Sejal, Land of Mine, La Soledad, Mimosas, My Blind Date with Life, Quest, Shin Godzilla, Sniff, The Untamed, and Tom of Finland.

Other limited releases given their “own spot” in the newsletter include: Bushwick, England is Mine, Step, The Ghoul, The Odyssey, Williams, and Your Name.

In addition to all of the above, the classic movies Le Doulos (1963), Prick Up Your Ears (1987), and Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) get an airing in August 2017.

A number of other movies which haven't been noted in the August magazine (or appear only in the Stop Press section) are: Cardboard Gangsters, Finally Found Someone, Mubarakan, Once Upon a Time, Titanic: 20th Anniversary Edition, Thomas and Friends: Journey to Sodor, and Toilet: Ek Prem Katha.

Also not included in the magazine are this month's “Event Cinema” entertainmentsmost of which are listed below. As usual, information sometimes differs when comparing various sources, so please take the details below with a large pinch of salt and do some further investigation if you are interested in attending any of these events:-

  • 3rd August 2017 – Chris Brown: Welcome to My Life (National Amusements)
  • 3rd August 2017 – La Clemenza Di Tito – Glyndebourne 2017 (Trafalgar Releasing)

  • 8th August 2017 – NT Live – Angels in America: Part 1 [Encore] (Trafalgar Releasing)
  • 9th August 2017 – Titus Andronicus – RSC Live 2017 (Trafalgar Releasing)
  • 15th August 2017 – NT Live – Angels in America: Part 2 [Encore] (Trafalgar Releasing)
  • 11th August 2017 – An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power + Al Gore in Conversation (Paramount Pictures)
  • 11th August 2017 – Batman and Harley QuinnAnimated Movie (Warner Bros.) [Vue Cinemas?]

  • 29th August 2017 – Yerma - NT Live 2017 (Trafalgar Releasing)

(In addition, don't forget to look out for “Secret Cinema” presentations if these are of interest to you). https://www.secretcinema.org/

Here is the link to my latest newsletter (which is a download of approximately 68.5MB):-

Well, I'm off to plan my next visits to the cinema – to see Girl's Trip and Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. If you are cinema-going over the next few weeks - I hope you have a very good time. Happy viewing!

Trailers for most of the major films mentioned above follow:-

 A Ghost Story

American Made

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power

Annabelle: Creation

Atomic Blonde


Everything Everything

Logan Lucky


Napping Princess: The Story of the Unknown Me

or Hirune Hime: Shiranai Watashi no Monogatari 
[Sometimes aka Ancien and the Magic Tablet]


Pawn Sacrifice

Rough Night

The Dark Tower

The Emoji Movie

The Hitman's Bodyguard

The Nut Job 2: Nutty By Nature

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

Your Name (Kimi no Na wa) [Subtitled Version]

Your Name (Kimi no Na wa) [Dubbed Version]