Could you watch the same movie on repeat for 24 hours?

A cinema in Liverpool is challenging audiences to sit through a Groundhog Day marathon next month.


Luke Channell

When Oscar Wilde surmised, “Life imitates art far more than art imitates life,” he could never have fathomed that his observation would one day become a reality in the form of a 24-hour movie marathon of the 1993 Bill Murray time-loop comedy, Groundhog Day.

On Tuesday 2 February (aka ‘Groundhog Day’) Liverpool’s Small Cinema will attempt to recreate The Phil Connors Experience by screening Harold Ramis’ film on repeat from 6am until the same time the next day. Anyone bold enough to accept for the challenge will be provided with cups of tea and 20 minute breaks in-between screenings to aid them in this cinematic endurance test. Falling asleep will reportedly not be frowned upon and will most likely enhance the surreal atmosphere created by a recurring sensory barrage.

Of course, movie marathons are nothing new – nowadays it is common for cinemas to put on extended screening events to coincide with the release of the latest franchise instalment. To mark the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens a Texas cinema challenged hardcore fans to sit through all six films followed by uninterrupted repeats of the seventh episode, with napping strictly prohibited, until only one intrepid audience member remained.

Likewise, superhero buffs were given the opportunity to undergo a whopping 29-hour Marvel marathon succeeded by Avengers: Age of Ultron. The all-time record for the longest continuous stint at the movies stands at 120 hours and 23 minutes and was achieved by Ashish Sharma, who watched a total of 48 films back-to-back in 2008, taking breaks of up to 10 minutes long between each screening.

Aside from perhaps engendering a heightened sense of empathy towards Murray’s plight, we’re predicting that the Groundhog Day marathon is unlikely to elicit anything other than lethargy and a numb backside. But, if you’ve ever felt compelled to find out exactly how TV weatherman Phil Connors felt when he pondered, “Well, what if there is no tomorrow?” get yourself down to Liverpool’s Small Cinema next month.

Published 21 Jan 2016

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