AMBIANCÉ. The Longest. Film. Ever. (Watch The 72-minute Teaser)

Contributing Writer; South Africa
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43,200 minutes... 720 hours... 30 days... 1 month... Coming in 2020.

Say what you will about experimental film, there can be no faulting Anders Weberg's ambition. He has completed the first 280 hours of his 720-hour long magnum opus, Ambiancé - "the last film I'll ever make" - which is scheduled to premiere in 6 years, around the world, simultaneously. He will then destroy the film after this single screening. 

This seems like either the most masochistic or enlightened plan ever devised. It's worth noting, however, that Weberg himself coined the term "Peer-to-peer art" (p2p-art) to describe art that is shared with a network peer, and then immediately destroyed by the artist. With the original work annihilated, the art only lives on insofar as peers continue to perpetuate digital copies of the work. By 2020 we'll all have Google contact lenses that plug straight into our retinas so odds are this film will get recorded and endure. 

There was another, sombre, element to this otherwise righteous cinematic announcement:

"6 months ago today my son André took an overdose and died 21 years old. Much of my works over the years has centered around him.
This is for him."

Quite how anything I saw centers around anything else is beyond my powers of admittedly linear correlation, but the footage is undeniably mesmerizing. And lest you think the runtime is just an accumulation of sparsely edited long shots, check out the gallery of screen grabs. The film is rich with effects, some of which look physical, and is dense with editorial intent. The soundtrack, by German composer Marsen Juhls, is almost trance inducing, and while I often find such experimental work discombobulating, I sank quite soothingly into the imagery of this teaser.

Ambiancé is set to become the longest experimental film ever made, more than tripling the length of the next longest, Modern Times Forever (Stora Enso Building, Helsinki), which clocks in at a relatively paltry 14,400 minutes (10 days). Though the lengthiest cinematic productions pale in running time by comparison, three most certainly present a formidable test of stamina: Resan (The Journey; 1987) was over 14 hours long, and both Out 1 (Noli Me Tangere) and How Yukong Moved The Mountains are longer than 12 hours each. For comparison, The Lord Of The Rings trilogy in full Extended Edition is 11 hours and 22 minutes. 

The teaser will only remain up until July 20, so catch it while you can!




Ambiancé - the 720 hour long film [short 72 min teaser] by Anders Weberg from Anders Weberg on Vimeo.

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  • GuidoS

    I have never heard of Weberg, but I was stunned. Absolutely beautiful, amazing stuff. I don't know much about this kind of film making, although I admire Stan Brakhage. Weberg has a lot in common with him, but is generally much softer on the audience. Both shift effortlessly between concrete sceneries and abstraction, and both offer various ways of interpretation, as autobiography, symbolism or aesthetics. Weberg's images are filled with dense live, and his color palette is incredible. Some things are kitschier than Brakhage, but I just saw it once, so no final judgment. The teaser by itself is a complete work of art. The idea of the final film is genius. It is not supposed to be seen by any one single person in its entirety. It creates an invisible community of people who all carry bits of it in their memories. The whole film is still there, but fragmented into many memories and partial recordings all over the world. The recordings and the memories will develop, some will stay, others will vanish, until everything is faded away. As if Weberg has exploded his memory of his son and his grief, distributing it to many people and then let it wither away. I'm sold.

  • Marcel Samson

    It seems no one will sit through the entire single screening of the movie, unless he pauses it every day. People have to sleep, you know.

    Anyway: I've skipped through the trailer, and that is enough for me. No way I can sit through something like this. The word pretentious does indeed come to mind. And that music is far from inspiring. Let one chord bleed into another one every know and then, and done...

  • arturo

    What a pretentious over bloated boring waste of anyone's time who chooses to watch this piece of bland amateurish over indulgent nonsense, that trailer was an endurance test, 720 hrs of that? Who in there right mind will sit through that? No doubt the CIA will use it for their new torture device for suspected terrorists!

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