The fact that Sally Potter‘s The Party (Roadside, 2.16) runs a mere 71 minutes is, in itself, a fascinating selling point. For me at least. Most dramas of this sort are mining their second acts at the 70-minute mark. People often complain about longish running times, but I wonder if the average ticket-buyer feels vaguely shortchanged if a film is too short, whatever that might mean.
Last year Vulture‘s Kyle Buchanan, Nate Jones, Kevin Lincoln and Jada Yuan ran a list of 50 films with running times under 90 minutes, but how many well-regarded films have run less than 80? I can think of exactly one — Woody Allen‘s Zelig, which ran 79 minutes.
Respect for Party costar Cherry Jones, who also appears in Woody Allen‘s A Rainy Day in New York, for saying the following to the N.Y. Times: “There are those who are comfortable in their certainty. I am not. I don’t know the truth. When we condemn by instinct our democracy is on a slippery slope.”