Football is not for everyone, especially a game that pauses every 3 minutes to show advertisements that companies spend as much as a Hollywood epic on. We decided to compile a list of movies that are long enough to either overshadow the big game entirely, or take a good chunk out of it.
The Godfather (Part 1 & 2)- You’d be hard pressed to find a set of films more iconic and lengthy than these two. You’d also probably be hard pressed to set aside 5 and ½ hours to watch them back to back. Together they are perhaps even more an American institution than the Super Bowl itself. Filled with violence, action and family drama, they beautifully bring together something the game will never achieve: grace. Stylistically and technically American cinema has never been more enthralling than it is here under Francis Ford Coppola’s masterful direction.
Amadeus- Chances are the public is going to spend a good portion of time rolling their eyes when Madonna performs at the half-time show, but no one is going to be suggesting they play a little Mozart. If you happen to, then we’ve got your film. Amadeus — written by the play of the same name’s playwright — is a 3 hour film of grand and lavish ambition, but thrives on the finer, hidden touches to show its prowess. Most of the story is fictitious; caricaturizing Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and his rival Antonio Salieri as bitter rivals attempting to destroy one another is one of the most bizarre, vulgar and lavish films of its time.
Carlos- You’ll have to start this 5 1/2 hour epic before the Super Bowl just to finish it before midnight. Oliver Assayas’ bloody chronicle of the terrorist known as Carlos the Jackal is a brilliantly paced look at the globalization of terror. With more than 8 languages spoken including English, Russian and French, Assayas’ uncompromised vision is fueled by idealism rather than action set pieces, though the more than hour-long sequence where Carlos and his gang take over an OPEC meeting is masterful action filmmaking.
Fanny & Alexander- Many consider Fanny & Alexander Ingmar Bergman’s magnum opus. Depending on which version you watch (theatrical or made for TV), you’ll either be in for a 3 hour journey into the adolescent mind of Alexander or one that spans nearly 4 and a half. To make sure you overshadow the Super Bowl, we recommend the latter. Either version is time well spent, with Bergman doing some of the finest storytelling of his expansive, almost unprecedented career. From the brightly colored dinners of the first half to the prison-like quality of Alexander’s life when he has an authoritarian new step-father, Bergman captures atmosphere just as effortlessly as story.
Dogville- This 3 hour attack on Christian charity and America certainly has a much more limited audience than the all-American version of football, but those willing to approach Dogville with an open mind will find a talented auteur working at the top of his game. Lars von Trier’s game is provocation, and though he notoriously has never been state side, this deeply political film resonates long before its bloody conclusion. Shot on a nearly empty sound stage, the cast and the audience is called on to imagine the town, which sounds unbearable. Von Trier and Nicole Kidman pull it off, though, and the results are thrilling and, well, provocative.
Lolita- There’s an endless supply of winded Kubrick films you could watch instead of the big game, but only one stands apart. Lolita runs a little over 2 and ½ hours long and follows a middle-aged professor who marries a widowed and sexually starved woman to get closer to her 14-year-old whom he has fallen in love with. Provocative, controversial and sexy, it has everything the big game has been missing since wardrobe malfunctions have gone out of style.
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