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Which cultural experiences demand the most time?

Over the weekend of 26 and 27 October we’re screening the epic, convention-defying La Flor, Argentinian filmmaker Mariano Llinás’ tribute to the history of film.

At almost 15 hours in total, including scheduled breaks, Llinás’ clever multiplicity of stories isn’t for everyone. In that time, you could watch both series of Killing Eve and still have time left for a game of Risk. But in an era when we’re happy to binge on box sets, perhaps it’s time to celebrate the longest of long-form storytelling. Here we take a look at some other cultural highlights that require a significant investment of hours (and sometimes days):

Amra Ekta Cinema Banabo

La Flor only makes it to number three on Wikipedia’s list of the longest cinematic films ever made – at number one is a Bangladeshi Bengali language feature film whose name in translation is The Innocence. Not actually released until December this year, the film is based in the aftermath of the Bangladesh Liberation War and is an incredible 1265 minutes (21 hours 5 minutes) long. For comparison, the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy lasts a measly 11 hours and 26 minutes.

Logistics

Experimental filmmakers get a list all to themselves when it comes to amount of time they can fill the screen, and the 2012 art film Logistics tops them all at 857 hours, or 35 days and 17 hours. The film follows in reverse the production cycle of a pedometer, in real time, travelling from Stockholm to Shenzhen.

À la recherche du temps perdu

The inspiration for this article came when asking our Creative Director: Film and Culture, Jason Wood, what book people who watch La Flor are likely to read – and this was his answer. We’re still not sure if he was joking, but Proust’s mighty masterpiece weighs in at 1,267,069 words or 9,609,000 characters. Although Proust holds the Guinness World Record for longest novel, many claim the title should in fact go to Devta, the serialised fantasy thriller novel by Mohiuddin Nawab that spanned over 11 million words in the 33 years over which it was published.

The Ring Cycle

Wagner’s monumental opera features dwarfs and giants, gods and river-maidens – there’s incest, trickery and a particularly precious magic ring. At 15 hours long it is often performed over several days, so if you’d rather watch it from the comfort of your own sofa Opera North have made their award-winning production available online for free.

‘Slow looking’

A movement rather than a piece of work, ‘slow looking’ encourages visitors to art galleries to resist the urge to rush round a ‘highlights’ tour and instead dedicate their whole visit to immersing themselves in just one or two pieces of work. The Tate have published an article about it on their website, where they suggest some tips on how to start.


La Flor is being screened on 26 and 27 Oct. Click here for more information and to book.