“Baa Baa Land has no car chases, explosions or star names. All it has is sheep and fields,” says the website of what its producers call the dullest movie ever made. The description could not be more accurate.
Baa Baa Land is an eight-hour film, described as a “contemplative epic” that consists entirely of sheep grazing on a field. It has no plot, no dialogues, no human actors. Produced by Calm, a company that promotes meditation and mindfulness through its apps and its website, Baa Baa Land has been created to make its viewers fall asleep.
“It’s a reaction to films like The Bourne Supremacy, which have an average shot length of two seconds,” Baa Baa Land’s producer Peter Freedman told iNews, “We’re billing it as ‘the ultimate insomnia cure’. Viewers can put this on on their phone or their tablet and wind down and drift off to sleep.”
British art film director Garth Thomas has shot and edited the film. Its title, as well as the poster, is a tongue-in-cheek reference to the 2016 musical La La Land. The caption below the title reads: “Here’s to the ones who dream of... sheep.”
Only the 19th longest film in the history of cinema, Baa Baa Land would remind people of the 2016 film, Paint Drying, which, true to its name, features 10 hours of paint drying on a wall. Such films are markedly different from the works of filmmakers like Lav Diaz or Bela Tarr who are known for making lengthy films but within the ambit of narrative cinema – movies with a story.
The first cut in Baa Baa Land comes after 77 minutes. The sheep are still there, eating grass and bleating and it is still a bright sunny day, the camera merely switches positions from one long shot to another. Anything remotely resembling an action sequence is the rare mid shot, five and a half hours into the film, when some of the sheep drink water.
Yes, Baa Baa Land could put you to sleep – and that’s exactly what the film’s makers want, at a time when rising stress and anxiety levels are constant exposure to stimuli is affecting sleep patterns. “It’s better than any sleeping pill”, executive producer Alex Tew is quoted as saying on the film’s website. Freedman, who also doubles up as the film’s “writer”, hopes the film to inspire research papers and have a cult following. “I hope that in future years, students of cinema will write PhDs and doctoral theses about [Baa Baa Land], saying what it all means,” he said.