What's the longest movie ever made

Record: The longest film of all time lasts a month

A teaser should whet the appetite for the actual film, two or four minutes of mouthwashing canapés. But how long will the film be if the teaser alone lasts 72 minutes, like for Anders Weberg's “Ambiancé”?

We guessed it: This is a new attempt at the title “The longest film in the world”. It's just an announcement from the Swedish artist, but the teaser can be seen online. Allegedly the first 280 hours already exist and the premiere of the complete opus is announced for December 31, 2020.

This is where the conceptual difficulties begin. The premiere cannot take place on that one day: The film is designed to last 720 hours, so it runs for a month and has quite hypnotic qualities, judging by the teaser: images of nature and people, alienated according to all the rules, with slow motion, coloring, Cross-fades, manipulation of the sharpness - and accompanied by a swirling carpet of sound.

Five hours of “Cleopatra”: a short film!

For most moviegoers, the experience of such record attempts is likely to be limited to “Cleopatra” or “Fanny and Alexander”, with their five hours and a few squashed pure short films. Both are on the list of the longest storytelling films of all time, but the list has now split into one with narrative and one with experimental films.

The front runner of the former is a documentary called "Resan" by the Englishman Peter Watkins from 1987 about nuclear weapons, which runs for fourteen and a half hours. For some time now, new length records have been found on the experimental list that began 50 years ago with Andy Warhol's “Empire”, which showed the Empire State Building for eight hours from an eternal perspective. Four years later, "The Longest Meaningless Movie of the World" set new standards with 48 hours of film scraps, which were only surpassed two decades later by "The Cure of Insomnia", in which the artist Lee Groban spent 87 hours from his eponymous, 4000- page poem reads.

The next big leap was made in 2011 by the Danish artist group Superflex with their 240-hour “Modern Times Forever”, and now: 720 hours. This can no longer be “performed”, except as an in-and-out installation in a gallery, and Anders Weberg pushes the volatility of such records even further: he only wants to show the “film” once on his website - that is, one month long - and then destroy the original (if there is one in the digital age); something that can be repeated at will becomes a fleeting performance.

Show the film once - then destroy it

Unless downloaded fragments are retained. We should establish a third list: the longest existing films. Weberg's “Ambiancé” would then meet with von Stroheim's “Gier”, of whose ten hours only four survive today.