The elasticity of time is best appreciated when we are the spectators of a performance, be it a film, a play, a concert or a lecture. The actual duration of the performance and its mental duration are different things. To illustrate the factors that contribute to this varied experience of time, I cannot think of a better example than Alfred Hitchcock’s 1948 film Rope, a technically remarkable work that was shot in continuous, unedited 10-minute takes.
Rain Man is Dustin Hoffman humping one note on a piano for two hours and eleven minutes. It’s his dream role. As the autistic savant Raymond Babbitt, he’s impenetrable: he doesn’t make eye contact or touch anyone or carry on a conversation; he doesn’t care what anybody thinks of him.
I don’t want to see any more Westerns. This one is the very end, the end of a craft. This one is deadly . . . Leone’s film is completely indifferent towards itself. All it shows the unconcerned viewer is the luxury that enabled it to be made
“Don’t settle believing, strive for knowledge”
– Carl Sagan