Life in a Day Reviews
Away from gag-inducing pop, rant, and novelty videos is a global community capable of more than flaming each other in the site's comment sections. Over 80,000 video submissions have been cut and edited together in a glorious, sequential kaleidoscope depicting just what life meant to countless individuals in one day (July 24th 2010) from around the globe. The result is stunning, a meditative experiment that deserves comparison to the liked of "Baraka" and Godfrey Reggio's Qatsi trilogy.
The viewer is taken on an emotional odyssey, through segments warm, sad, funny, disturbing; to uncomfortably voyeuristic. It's exhausting, it's scatter shot, and it's life. You'll be thinking about this after the credits role.
all used to remembering where we were on a day when something exceptional
happened, but the majority of life is not made up of moments like that - it's
made up of the kind of moments captured in this film. Every day, 6 billion of us - none of us as different from each other as we'd like to believe - go about our lives, surrounded by our small tragedies and victories; this film is a unique reminder of this simple fact. It's like the whole planet took a moment to say,''This is me. Here I am.'' For that reason alone I found this film fascinating and very moving indeed.
Put together by the people of the world and wonderfully edited, telling miniature stories that hold their own, covering love, loss, fear, and the vastly different, but also similar ways we all go about our lives.
At first, "Life in a Day" starts in the predawn hours before centering on people waking up and starting their days, with a great edit from a cow being milked to milk arriving on a doorstep. Since this is a Saturday, the emphasis is more on play than work, although there is plenty of that, too, in Dubai, for example. Otherwise, for the most part, the documentary eschews specific locations but we do get Kathmandu, New York, Chicago, Roanoke, Va and tragically enough in Duisburg, Germany where so many lost their lives in that year's 'Love Parade' concert. Otherwise, what is of interest here are smaller personal moments like a first shave, an elderly couple renewing their vows, a first date, a young man coming out to his grandmother and, of course, a wedding proposal. People come and go, mostly not to be seen again, although there is the seriously ill mother and the Korean man who rides his bicycle around the world which best exemplifies the movie's global themes.
You'll have to feel good after watching it, and one of the biggest achievements for the director is that he never tried to exploit or make it too sentimental! Everyone knows that I love a good storytelling, and this movie succeeded in breaking all the established rules of the good storytelling but still managing to stay unique and even profound! And everything was done in perfect sync!
Concerning the chronology of the film and the order of the clips, Macdonald explained that he let the 300 hours of "best bits" tell him what the themes and structure of the film should be. To the director this film was a metaphor of the experience of being on the Internet. ... clicking from one place to another, in this almost random way...following our own thoughts, following narrative and thematic paths.
It was nice to watch it... moving and insightful with fascinating glimpses of how we live our lives in this world... and do not expect this to become classic... it was incredibly inspiring but not enough to stay high in the sky.
The end is a very well documentary serving as part of a different narrative experiment, but that falls into many ups and downs.