So you’ve made it through Avengers: Endgame, without having to dash out to go to the toilet, and you’re feeling pretty proud of yourself (or you’re feeling emotionally wrecked, either is possible), and you start to wonder… what shall I watch next? If I can make it through 181 minutes what other long films are there that I can test myself with? There are quite a few out there that will keep you entertained for over three hours, but perhaps that’s not enough and you’re looking for a real challenge? In light of that let’s take a look at eight films with some of the longest runtimes ever.
The Clock (1440 minutes)
Released in 2010, The Clock is an art installation film by Christian Marclay. It is a looped montage of scenes from film and television that feature clocks, timepieces or people saying the time. Presented in real time, the film has been edited in such a way that the different scenes seem to flow naturally into each other. There are snippets from High Noon at midday, Night of the Living Dead when Barbra (Judith O’Dea) says it’s ‘ten minutes to three’, and at midnight it features Orson Welles being impaled on a clock tower from The Stranger, and Big Ben blowing up from V for Vendetta. It’s meant to be quite a mesmerising film and worth checking out when it’s next being screened.
24 Hour Psycho (1440 minutes)
Another art installation film, 24 Hour Psycho was created by Douglas Gordon in 1993 and consists of an appropriation of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 Psycho, slowed down to two frames a second. It was described in the Guardian as being an important work of Gordon’s early career demonstrating themes such as “recognition and repetition, time and memory, complicity and duplicity, authorship and authenticity, darkness and light”. Make of that what you will.
The Longest Most Meaningless Movie In The World (2880 minutes)
At the time of its release in 1970, this strange film was the longest ever made and consists entirely of outtakes, advertisements, strips of undeveloped film and other castoff material. It essentially creates an endless stream of stock footage. Directed by Vincent Patouillard, it was made in the UK and is described on IMDb as “A never-ending movie that will make you want to have a vacation after you watch it…”. There is a cut down version that is only ninety minutes long, so maybe stick with that.
The Cure for Insomnia (5220 minutes)
This 1987 experimental film has no plot but instead features poet L.D. Groban reading his 4,080-page poem of the same name, cut with clips from heavy metal and pornographic videos. Again, make of this what you will. However, it has never been released on DVD or any other format and all known copies are considered to be lost. Sorry to disappoint you.
Matrjoschka (5700 minutes)
Yet another experimental film, made by German artist Karin Hoerler in 2006, Matrjoschka consists of images and sequences based on a single photo. The image shows a boy riding a bike, a street, houses and the sky. Over the course of the three days and twenty-three hours it would take to watch, the image changes but incredibly slow and not directly visible. It apparently also features a girl eating a yoghurt, looking through a phone book and being unable to sleep on a sofa. Good news though! This film is available on DVD if you’re brave enough to look it up.
Untitled #125 (Hickory) (7220 minutes)
In 2011, American artist Josh Azzarella released his film Untitled #125 (Hickory) that has a five-day runtime. Considered to be an experimental film, it is based on the six minute and thirty-second section in The Wizard of Oz, from the moment where you first see the tornado to when Dorothy (Judy Garland) meets Glinda the Good Witch (Billie Burke). It details what Azzarella believes is the entirety of Dorothy’s experience much like how a dream can only be for a few seconds but seem like much longer.
Modern Times Forever (14400 minutes)
Coming in at a whopping ten days long is the film Modern Times Forever, which was created by the Danish artistic group known as Superflex in 2011. The film shows how a building will decay over the course of one thousand years. The building used was the Stora Enso Headquarters in Helsinki, and the film had a one-time release date when it was projected onto the side of the same building. Given how long the film is we expect the same experience could be had if you chose to watch paint dry.
Logistics (51420 minutes)
Last on our list, and the longest film to date is Logistics which was released in 2012 and is over thirty-five days long! It came about when its two creators, Erika Magnusson and Daniel Andersson, decided to investigate where modern gadgets came from. They followed the production route of a pedometer backwards in time from its point of sale to its origin and manufacture. The project was filmed in real time and started in a shop in Stockholm to a factory in China. Again, perhaps not the most thrilling of film, but still a record breaker. That said, we think we’ll just go and see Endgame again!