Welcome to the home of Noah Brier. I'm the co-founder of Variance and general internet tinkerer. Most of my writing these days is happening over at Why is this interesting?, a daily email full of interesting stuff. This site has been around since 2004. Feel free to get in touch. Good places to get started are my Framework of the Day posts or my favorite books and podcasts. Get in touch.

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The Lost Art of Editing

So glad to read someone arguing for shorter movies:

Some stories are better longer, of course. Even at three hours, The Godfather doesn’t waste a millisecond. But lately too many directors are indulging themselves at the expense of your time. What they don’t realize is that you might enjoy a short movie that you would hate if it were long. Say you come across Crank: High Voltage. It might be terrible, but it’s only 96 minutes — which is more or less three Family Guys. So even if it is terrible, it won’t really be terrible. But if it were two hours? Not worth the risk. Might as well watch Old School again. It’s only 90 minutes.

Say what you will about Zoolander, but it’s 89 minutes long. I actually think this needs to be applied across the board. Despite the fact that the overwhelming trope of the world is that attention is at a premium, editing seems to have all but disappeared. Stories in the Times, for instance, consistently feel a few paragraphs longer than necessary and new books could knock off a few chapters. Come on people.

October 9, 2009