Scorsese’s Dare: Can You Handle 3.5 Hours of This?

Martin Scorsese is unapologetic about the extended runtime of his latest film, “Killers of the Flower Moon.” The revered director, aged 80, defended the three and a half-hour duration of this Western drama, emphasizing that it’s a testament to the respect cinema deserves. Scorsese believes that in an age where people can binge-watch TV shows for hours, dedicating a few hours to a film is a minimal commitment. He points out that stage productions often run for 3.5 hours or longer, and no one gets up to walk around during a play, so cinema should be granted the same courtesy.

Scorsese, a veteran of crafting lengthy films like “Casino,” “The Wolf of Wall Street,” and “The Irishman,” maintains that “Killers of the Flower Moon” is best experienced on the big screen. While he acknowledges that not all films need this format, he insists that this particular movie is an immersive cinematic experience. He emphasizes the importance of investing time to truly appreciate it.

The film, adapted from David Grann’s book, delves into the disturbing murders of Osage Native Americans in 1920s Oklahoma. Scorsese’s approach to the story emphasizes the complex relationships between the characters without relying on the “white savior” trope, earning praise from Osage Nation leader Chief Standing Bear for restoring trust with the tribe. Scorsese’s adaptation explores themes of trust and betrayal, resonating with the Osage community, which has a history of suffering from betrayals over many years.

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