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Longest and shortest films ever: from ten days to one second

From cinematic epics to the briefest of tales…

IF YOU’VE ALREADY seen The Dark Knight Rises, or are planning to see it soon, you may be aware that it’s almost three hours long.

That’s quite a while to hold in your small toilet, or stop your bum from going numb, but it’s fairly reasonable when you consider what some of the longest and shortest films ever are…

The longest movie ever made is an experimental film called Modern Times Forever and it runs over ten days. TEN DAYS! It’s official length is 240 hours, or 14400 mionutes, and it chronicles the decay of a building in Helsinki over centuries.

Here Jakob Fenger from the Danish artists group Superflex explains the thinking behind it:

Uploaded by ihmeproductions

The longest cinematic film in history according to the cavern of knowledge that is the internet is Berlin Alexanderplatz, a 1980 fifteen-and-a-half hour long TV film directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder. The movie was originally broadcast in 14 parts, but is described as the longest narrative film ever made.

Uploaded by mads1jinx

It’s followed by Resan (The Journey), a movie filmed between 1983 and 1985 across 14 countries by director Peter Watkins. Resan is fourteen-and-a-half hours long and has only been screened in public a few times.

1971′s Out 1, directed by Jacques Rivette comes in a 12 hours and 40 minutes, followed by How Yukong Moved the Mountains, a documentary made in 1976 about the Chinese cultural revolution, which clocks in at 763 minutes.

More easily recognisable bum-numbers include Cleopatra, which is 320 minutes long, Dances with Wolves is 236 minutes long, Gone With the Wind is two minutes longer at 238 minutes and Das Boot is 293 minutes long.

What about the briefest films then? The ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ numbers?

There are plenty of films that are one minute long. In fact there’s even a festival dedicated to them.

Here’s last year’s winner of the Best Filminute award: Loop, directed by Aritz Moreno from Spain:

Uploaded by Filminute2011

There’s also a film festival which invites submissions of 30 second movies.

A Clockwork Blossom was one of the winners last year:

Uploaded by LuceLacq

Keep on Trying was another one of 2011′s selections:

But surely the shortest film ever will be the 1 Second Film?

Sponsored by the likes of Apple, Kiefer Sutherland and Spike Jonze, the 1 Second Film is the brainchild of animation director Nirvan Mullick, who began selling $1 producer credits for his work when he left college, and the project has grown into a  celebrity fuelled sensation.

The finished project will consist of a one second animated film, followed by an hour of credits, which will run over a documentary.

Here’s the trailer:

Uploaded by The1SecondFilm

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About the author:

Emer McLysaght

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