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Camping at the Cinema

DNPUN55668 | 1/3/2013 | Author : Omkar Rege | WC :527

The longest form of entertainment we know is a five-day Test match. What if we told you, there is a film that runs for 51420 minutes? Erika Magnusson and Daniel Andersson, in an exclusive interview with After Hrs talk about Logistics, an extreme documentary

Remember the first time you saw Lord of the Rings _ Return of the King or Lagaan or Apocalypse Now or Jodha Akbar or Mera Naam Joker; and thought to yourself, “man!! I was in there for a long time!!”? All those films will appear like a 10 second TV commercial after learning about the scale of a film made by Swedish pair Erika Magnusson and Daniel Andersson _ ­artists and initiators of Logistics.
Erika and Daniel have made a documentary with a running time of approximately 35 days and 17 hours (51420 minutes). The idea for this film, which documents a journey, came from a curiosity of how certain appliances and gadgets are made available.
“In 2008, we came across an article in the German weekly Der Spiegel about an electric toothbrush, whose parts came from 10 different countries. We were fascinated by the complexity of the world economy and that the gadgets that surround us in our daily life come from all over the world. Our seemingly familiar, physical world – what do we really know about it? Could one say it gives us a false sense of familiarity?” says Daniel. The little idea grew into this month-long documentary.
The film is produced like a road movie _ recording the journey from Stockholm to Bao’an in China _ from a freight truck, to a freight train, to a container ship and back into freight trucks. Erika says, “It is a documentation of a transport route between Sweden and China. Since the documentation principle is absolute – the trip is shot and screened in real time – this documentary in a sense transcends the boundary of the documentation genre and steps into the art world.”
The film has broken the record for being the longest film, formerly held by Modern Times Forever. At 240-hours (10 days), MTF too is a documentary, which highlights centuries of decay, compressed into the span of the film, marking Helsinki’s Stora Enso headquarters building. “In a direct sense, Logistics is about consumption and time. In a wider sense, it is about the complexity of our society, and our possibility or inability to understand it,” Daniel explains. He also adds, “We sometimes think of the film material as poetry. Watching the film in its real-time tempo makes the journey seem almost endless, and might be perceived as a state of mind as well as a physical transportation. The waves moving, the sun rising and setting, the dark nights – the picture is contemplative and beautiful.”
There are other lengthy experimental films _ some like the aptly titled The Cure for Insomnia (1987, 5220 minutes) and The Longest Most Meaningless Movie in the World (1968, 2880 minutes). But none have crossed the 10-day mark, at least not in recorded history. Although, if the footage recorded from one CCTV camera is considered to be a movie, we could very well have year-long and decade-long films. Alfred Hitchcock once said, “The length of a film should be directly related to the endurance of the human bladder.” If that is true, these films are going to require the audience to evolve into people with massive bladders.

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