Thursday, March 12, 2015

Top ten long films

What constitutes a long film? It seems that nowadays most films try to push the three hour mark (and the audience's endurance), from Boyhood (165mins) and The Dark Knight Rises (165mins) to The Hobbit (169mins) and Cloud Atlas (172mins). Long films aren't even classified as 'epic'; the three hour mark has become the norm.

(As I've written previously, in my humble opinion, a film generally shouldn't be more than 90 minutes; an album no more than 45 minutes in length and a novel no longer than 350 pages.)

Anyway, even the above films feel like mere nano seconds compared to some on this list, which all boldly pass the three hour mark (180mins). I don't mind long films at all; I have fond memories of seeing the extended version of La Belle Noiseuse (240mins) at the cinema – which included a twenty minute single take shot of a man drawing. On the other hand, I have fallen asleep during Bela Tarr films.

1. Andrei Rublev (Tarkovsky, 1966, 205mins)
2. Gone With The Wind
(Fleming, 1939, 238mins)
3. The Clock
(Marclay, 2010, 1440mins ie 24hrs)
4. Shoah
(Lanzmann, 1985, 613mins)
5. Tree with Wooden Clogs
(Olmi, 1978, 186mins)
6. Heaven's Gate
(Cimino, 1980, 219mins)
7. Napoléon
(Gance, 1927, 330mins)
8. Empire
(Warhol, 1964, 485mins)
9. Sátántangó
(Tarr, 1994, 450mins)
10. Céline et Julie en Bateau
* (Rivette, 1974, 193mins)

*I had to include a Jacques Rivette film but not his 760 minute (twelve hour), rarely shown epic Out 1 – recently released on DVD in a 5 disc edited version – only 253 minutes long.

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