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Life in a Day
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52 out of 65 people found the following review useful:

Exhilarating ride through 1 day of us living on Earth

9/10
Author: James Bonney from London
20 January 2011

Just saw this at a preview and its mind blowing.

As you might expect from a Youtube content generated film, the clips and there are hundreds...are short, punchy and vary from fuzzy mobile footage, of a lonely girl talking at her phone, a guy asking a girl on a date, to timelapsed high definition clouds brewing into a dark thunderous storm, suns setting over Himalayan peak, and goats staring knowingly at me ...more goats please!

All walks of life, all parts of the world, everywhere on this little blue planet is the location, where shared themes common to all humanity are explored and humoured, exploited and tragically true of us all...there's a lingering sadness which underlies the frequent fun and humour so many of these clips portray...us making the best of what we have, which for so many is nothing much at all, and yes there is darkness, a lot of it, but what we do, our nature is to laugh at it, and celebrate the victory of being alive.

The resulting feature length montage is profound, emotional, hard to watch at times, and if you're not empathising with the rest of the world and grateful of your shared humanity by the time the snail minds its own business...you ain't' go no soul, noooooo, none!

Expect more of this, coz its all true, and just a glimpse of what the digital age can do.

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45 out of 52 people found the following review useful:

Just another extraordinary day

9/10
Author: siukong from Canada
27 January 2011

By its very nature, Life in a Day is an ambitious film. It seeks to encapsulate the human experience and all that it entails: life and death; love and hate; poverty and wealth; our dreams and our fears; and so on. I would argue that it does so successfully - or at least as successfully as possible for an undertaking of such scope (80,000 submissions totalling 4,500 hours of footage cut down to just an hour and a half!). It manages to strike a balance between the beauty of professional shooting and the raw visceral power of amateur footage. Very little seems contrived or awkward, and the editing and music do not usually distract from the simple energy of the vignettes being shown. In fact, the score is quite good and the editing only comes to the forefront when it's doing something meaningful - revealing links, emphasizing contrasts, or completing a thought.

A few stories are highlighted and revisited as the film progresses, but in general it never lingers too long on one scene. You would think this might hinder the presentation of some of the slower, more peaceful aspects of life, but it really doesn't. In fact, the lasting impression from this film is not one of chaos but one of unity and connection. That being said, at times the emotional roller-coaster you are being put through can be slightly bewildering. Some viewers might dislike how quickly they are brought from one emotion to another, but most will probably be too engaged to feel more than a twinge of regret that a particular scene couldn't last longer.

Some might argue that the more brutal realities of life are underrepresented (war, death, crime, prejudice, etc.), but I think that perception is probably due to how much we are bombarded with them by our daily news and entertainment. Don't get me wrong, there is plenty of misery on display here (whether it be as simple as the sting of rejection or as profound as the fear of dying), but it's often more subtle than explicit and it's tempered by a positivity that sometimes seems to be lacking in our view of the world.

As a cinema enthusiast, this film excites me with the prospect of increasing interactivity and grassroots power. As a human, it gives me hope that we can live in harmony and understanding. And I'm usually quite the cynic.

Final summary: 9/10 | A

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50 out of 66 people found the following review useful:

It engages the audience more than any documentary I've ever seen and leaves us with that profound and beautiful sensation that only the movies can give us.

10/10
Author: TheUnknown837-1 from United States
27 January 2011

A father and son document their lives caring for someone they love, who is stricken with cancer. A man steals from a grocery store. An elderly couple, their hair pristine white, finally tie the knot. A young man tells his grandmother via a phone call that he is gay and that he hopes she can come to love his significant other as much as him. A group of women sing as they perform their daily duties. A photographer describes his way of life. People walk, go to work, talk to each other, talk to the camera, as they do in life. Because this is life. Life is extraordinary and life is mundane. And life, no matter from what perspective we examine it, is mesmerizing. And Kevin Macdonald's film "Life in a Day" is all of that and more.

This is one of the most enthralling, captivating, and magnificent works of art ever produced by human hands. And that is the honest truth, since it was, in deed, created by hundreds of people. Some of them filmmakers, most of them just ordinary Janes and Joes like you and me. Detailing what happened in their lives on July 24, 2010 and submitting their footage to Mr. Macdonald and producer Ridley Scott, they provided the materials for a genuine masterpiece. "Life in a Day" is a masterpiece not because it is artistic or cared for with creative tenderness (even though it is). It's a masterpiece because it is unabashedly honest and personable. I watched the movie on its live Youtube debut while it was simultaneously screened at the Sundance film festival. And for an hour and thirty-four minutes, I sat there captivated. Nothing could have torn me from my seat. Even though most of what I saw was fairly ordinary, things I could see walking down any street in any town. Paradoxical as it sounds, the mundane is mesmerizing.

In his movie, Mr. Macdonald and his hundreds of co-directors examines human life as fact and with honesty. He reveals the frailties, tenderness, brutality, horrors, and beauty of life in our world all within that short window of an hour and a half. It's so captivating because it's all real and these are stories that many of us can identify with, and others we hope never to. That's when the movie really becomes a tear-jerker. Sometimes there are long stretches of time on particular subjects, other times it's a montage accompanied by truly wonderful, ear-worm music. There is so much that I want to say about "Life in a Day" but I must restrict myself. Because the movie really has to be seen to be believed. I cannot possibly do this film's emotional and psychological justice simply by writing about it. All I should (and will) do is tell you my reaction, as I just have. This is one of my most personal reviews and it's fair because it's a personal film. It engages the audience more than any documentary could ever do (though I haven't seen "Shoah" yet) and it leaves us with that utterly profound and beautiful sensation that only a great picture can do. Even though it is very, very simple in a lot of ways. After all, Steven Spielberg once said "Oftentimes the simplest ideas are the best ones." He was right. Boy, was he right.

"Life in a Day" is a masterpiece.

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34 out of 41 people found the following review useful:

Unbelievable

9/10
Author: Vince27 from Canada
27 January 2011

Life in a Day is a remarkable, emotional and an inspiring film full of life.

The film is shot by hundreds of people, from around the world, who sent their own personal videos into YouTube to make this stunning picture.

It is hard to really review the film because of what it is about: life. The film captures life for anything on Earth, whether it be a human or an animal. Cultures, religions, ways of life and philosophies are all touched upon in this amazing piece of history. Never before has the entire world been seen in a film such as it has in this picture.

People from all over the world are captured living as they do normally. There is no Hollywood, there are no actors, no directors and no writers. This film is about people.

It is obviously very difficult to explain what life is and I am not going to do it. But this film does it and it does it in a way anybody could understand.

Life in a Day is awe-inspiring in the way it captures life on Earth without being sentimental. At the end of the film, there won't be a soul in the world that isn't touched.

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30 out of 37 people found the following review useful:

Amazingly real!

9/10
Author: mwolff5 from Atlanta, Georgia, USA
27 January 2011

This movie blew my mind! How can an independent movie be so great? This movie shows every day people in the rawest form. You just do not see this in any other film. It shows people real points of view, although very subtle. I thought it was very interesting to see so many people's fears and allowed the viewer to relate to this movie. I think the best part of it all is the fact that they allowed everyone to view it for FREE on you tube. No high-budget movie would do that! It is refreshing to see a movie being shown to all in its purest form and getting the buy in it is most deserved from the viewer. This movie should be show everywhere! Get out and see it!

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19 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

The Power of Connection

Author: kerick08 from United States
2 February 2011

Life in a Day is a historic cinematic experiment that attempts to capture what life looks like on one day, July 24th, 2010, around the entirety of the world. Thousands of hours of video were captured and then compiled to give a glimpse into what constitutes an average day amongst humanity.

This film is ultimately about connection; the connection of humans to one another and all of the mundane, regular, everyday things that we share despite our differences in culture, location, and upbringing. The fact that we all sleep. We all wake up in the morning. We all eat breakfast. We brush our teeth. We walk around. We smile. We love. We fear. We breathe. This film is an affirmation of the simple joys and sorrows that we experience merely as a result of living on this earth and being human. It is an affirmation of life at its rawest, truest, grittiest, and loveliest.

The summarization of this project can be found in the words a young teenage girl who vocalizes that, although she went through her whole day with nothing particularly out of the ordinary occurring, merely by partaking in this social experiment and something greater than just her own life, she was left with the feeling that something amazing was happening.

This simple statement speaks of our innate human desire to be a part of something that is larger than just ourselves. We long to belong, to connect, to be understood, and to be a part of something meaningful and worthwhile. This film speaks directly to this need and is able to transcend religion, culture, age, and gender to get at the heart of what it means to be a human being on earth today. What an amazing time capsule treasure for generations to come.

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21 out of 27 people found the following review useful:

July 24, 2010: Life out of Balance

9/10
Author: alexart-1 from United States
27 January 2011

Morning, July 24, 2010. "It'll all end well," a man says to his younger son, who is currently throwing a tantrum. "It'll all end well," he reassures the boy. What will end well? This situation? This day? This life?

As Life in a Day progresses, the viewer travels through the lives on many, literally living vicariously through others. This amazing documentary, produced by the Scott Brothers (one of which is the famous Ridley Scott) and directed by Kevin MacDonald, travels all over the world on one all too regular day: July 24, 2010. Starting in the morning, a time filled with a happiness and renewal, and ending in the evening, a time of reconciling and sadness, Life in a Day profiles things that should be commonplace. The best part: these things are certainly not commonplace. The Earth is a beautiful place. Our lives are great. Why not display them on film? And that is just the point.

Like any great documentary, Life in a Day is a poignant film. But unlike many great documentaries, it follows a subject that should not be poignant. If you have ever seen Amelie, you know the great beginning sequence. An unseen narrator shows us two glasses dancing on a table, a firefly dashing across a yellow-lighted French street, and a man erasing the name of a dead friend out of his address book. Imagine a movie like this entire opening sequence and you've got Life in a Day. Beautiful imagery, such as a teenage boy shaving for the first time, is common throughout the entire film. One shot especially, that of a skydiver falling to Earth, is probably the best part of the entire film. In a scene reminiscent of Koyaanisqatsi, a woman tumbles through the upper layers of Earth's atmosphere. It is quiet for a brief minute, and then, as the clouds engulf her, the noise of the people seeps in. The couple laughs together, sharing a time like no other together.

And yet, there are some truly disturbing scenes. At a Love Parade, multiple people are shown getting trampled to death. A few rush over to help the fallen victims, but many carry on, screaming to their heart's content. One part that people will surely have a reaction to is the slaughterhouse scene. Fair warning: a cow is shot in the head twice. The cow is later decapitated graphically. As these scenes show, sometimes life isn't always great. The images may be ugly and bleak, but they are always beautiful.

Life in a Day is a beautiful time capsule of people in the new millennium. Simply put, it's a wonderful portrait of people who do regular things. On a more complex level, it's a documentary about how lives are constantly changing. Every action we do changes the next action that is going to happen. Time is important. It's also shaping these actions. What's going to happen tomorrow? After all, as Scarlett O'Hara once said, "Tomorrow is a new day."

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17 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

Brilliant editing

Author: valleyjohn from United Kingdom
12 September 2011

Imagine a film , shot in one day , by 80,000 people. it sounds unbelievable but that is exactly what "Life in day" is. This fascinating film is made from footage of YouTube clips from people asked to film there everyday activities and do you know what ? It really works.

How the director managed to edit down 4,500 hours of footage is beyond me but the final cut is excellent none the less.

If there ever was a film just about people , this is it. In a way it restores your faith in human nature when you watch this and it's also a film that is so fascinating the time flies by.

If your a fan of the YouTube phenomenon or not i recommend Life in a day.

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17 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

Amazing insight into the way the world lives one day

9/10
Author: roger-verdurmen from Amsterdam
9 February 2011

Without a doubt one of the worlds best examples of co-creation or even crowd sourcing if you like. How 4500 hours of film were carefully judged until 150 hours of film could serve as the basis for this 1,5 hour jewel will never seize to amaze me. The film touches every single emotion from joy to fear to disgust to sadness and relief, and does so in a totally natural way, probably as life itself does. Maybe somewhat besides the point of the film but what struck me was the notion that in whatever direction I would travel, except maybe slightly north, in general people are worse off than in my country. You could say seeing life on our planet makes me appreciate my particular life more. Probably it was about time something would...

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10 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

At face value, engaging but peel away some layers and it is profound.

10/10
Author: CourtsideJack from United States
5 December 2011

We have all had that moment. At a particular point in any given day, we wonder what someone is doing on the other side of the world at that exact moment. Life in a Day gives us just a glimpse of the world on a normal day and does so masterfully. I was very engaged by the flashy editing and creative montages but also very touched at some of the short sequences of humans in their most candid moments. This film gives us a window into life on the macro and the micro. It presents us with constant scene changes and slick editing to keep us interested and then gives us some very real and very profound moments.

This film manages to reward the viewer with quality and quantity, in the sense that it packs more into its 95 minutes that you can shake a stick at. Many of the stories in this movie could be their own documentaries themselves and make for a great watch. But it is not just the people, that make this movie great. Without giving anything away, this film will find ways to pull at your heartstrings in ways you may have never experienced with cinema. Everyone at some point in this film can relate to moments that are so visceral and so real, you may find your self reliving emotions you may not have expected, good and bad. I am being purposefully vague because any explanation of the events in this film will not do it justice. You need to experience it.

I highly recommend this film, not as a documentary, but as an experience and window into the human condition. Life, death, love, laughter, bodily function, work,war,heartbreak, fear. Just some of the emotions and experiences chronicled, this film does a great job of presenting it in an interesting way that keeps you wanting more. It is almost too bad that for most of the subjects, we are offered a very brief glimpse into their life only to be whisked halfway around the world and thrust into the home of another. The Scott brothers (Tony and Ridley) did a great job of keeping some cohesion as far as the chronological order of the day and the subject matter. With 4500 hours of footage from 192 countries, this was no small feat.

In closing, I hope more and more see this movie as it gives us an unbiased glimpse into the human condition. Approach the movie with an open mind and a little patience, and you will be rewarded. It is art such as this that can help us understand one another to hopefully be able to put aside our differences, if for just one day.

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