LateReg wrote:I remember that article, but I never interpreted it that way. At the time, I thought he just meant that he won't be making 2 to 3 hour movies that air on TV as opposed to the cinema. He'd rather make longer stuff if he's working on TV. I never viewed what he said as the distinction between a feature and The Return, but rather how he'd prefer to use the TV medium. I always felt that quote confirmed that The Return was indeed a feature/film, despite its length, and that he's interested in making more things that use the medium that way rather than just using it to make a 2 hour film. I still see it that way.
At the end of the day, it’s all semantics, and DKL is on record as being far more comfortable expressing himself visually than in words, so I don’t want to nitpick him too much. I still do feel that the Rolling Stone quote indicates a distinction between “films” and “features,” with “features” having a set runtime cap in DKL’s mind. But if he says differently elsewhere, all well and good. Call it “the Return,” “season 3,” “a limited event series,” “a film,” “a feature,” or whatever else we can come up with....this was one of the most unusual experiences in modern entertainment, and one that continues to smudge the increasingly blurry line between television and feature films. I maintain that the show is more episodic than some fans claim (I just rewatched Part 6, and think it functions incredibly well as a self-contained — albeit unconventional — episode of television), but I also see the other side. What makes the work fascinating is that it doesn’t conform to the typical narrative conventions of either a feature film or a television season. Viewed through either lens, it is an adventurous, fascinating, frustrating, strange, challenging, rewarding, and beautifully unique work.