On January 31, 1987, Chicago outsider filmmaker/artist/musician John Timmis IV released his magnum opus, The Cure for Insomnia. An experiment designed to reprogram the biological clocks of insomniacs so that they can sleep again, the film runs a staggering 5,220 minutes (87 hours, or approximately 3 ½ days). There is no real plot or even structure to the film; it mainly consists of poet L.D. Groban reading his 4,080-page work, A Cure for Insomnia, interspliced with X-rated film clips and heavy metal rock videos from Timmis’ own groups Cosmic Lighting and J.T.4.
The Cure for Insomnia has only been shown once in its entirety. It premiered at the School of The Art Institute of Chicago, from January 31 to February 3, 1987. It has never been released to the public.
Although the Guinness Book of World Records lists The Cure for Insomnia as the longest film ever made, another film has recently been made that beats it. In March 2011, a group of Dutch artists called Superflex released Modern Times Forever. The film is a fictional depiction of what would happen to Helsinki’s Stora Enso building over the next few thousand years, if left untended. The movie runs 240 hours—yes, 10 days.