Tjavi_indy/ShutterstockThe latest movie to hit your screen is truly meant for the bedroom, but get your mind out of the gutter. This is one flick you can watch with the kiddos, albeit you may fall asleep doing it. And that’s the idea.
Being touted as the dullest movie ever made, Baa-Baa Land is about nothing—specifically sheep doing nothing. It fits into the up-and-coming Slow TV genre on Netflix and the BBC featuring non-existent plots and pacing that’s equivalent to watching paint dry. It may not be a thing in the states yet, but in Norway, Slow TV has taken off. According to the Daily Beast, it attracted 450,000 viewers upon its debut, way more than anticipated, and has been viewed by 1.2 million people, in a country with a population of only 5 million.
The whole purpose of Baa Baa Land is to relax you and give you a break from the frenetic 24/7 world we live in. The hope from creators at Calm.com is that insomnia will be no match for sheep grazing on green pastures. And we much prefer the idea of watching sheep to eating doggie ear wax, seriously—that’s one of the wackier old-time cures for insomnia that really existed.
Michael Acton Smith, co-founder of Calm, feels this movie will encourage a “transition time” between the manic pace of every day and the calm and tranquility required for slumber. “We need to create a transition time,” Smith says, “so that rather than stimulating our minds with emails or Facebook, we instead allow them to unwind. We seldom do this. It’s no wonder that so many of us struggle to calm our racing minds and nod off naturally.”
An insomnia movie like Baa Baa Land—as well as the main “Sleep Stories” available on Calm—are designed to help people create this sort of transition time.
Although Peter Freedman, producer of the film, isn’t aware of any official studies, he believes that a film that is slow-paced and contemplative, with long camera takes and no car-shows or explosions should and will help you wind down, relax, and drift off.
“When you try to sleep, your mind monitors your efforts, which then keeps you awake. Instead, have the intention of relaxing and letting go,” says Steve Orma, PhD, a clinical psychologist and specialist who has advised Calm.
The eight-hour film will premiere at a cinema in London this fall and simultaneously be streamed/webcast globally on both the Calm website and app at no cost.
There’s even talk of partnering with charities or non-profits for “event screenings,” where supporters could be sponsored by the hour to attend the world’s dullest movie… or else raise money from ticket sales.
And it may be the first movie to be judged a hit not for how many people watched it, but for how many people it put to sleep. In the meantime, these are the treatments that finally worked for insomniacs.