Life in a Day (2011) Poster

(2011)

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9/10
Just another extraordinary day
siukong27 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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9/10
Unbelievable
Vince2727 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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9/10
Exhilarating ride through 1 day of us living on Earth
James Bonney20 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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The Power of Connection
kerick082 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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9/10
Amazingly real!
mwolff527 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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10/10
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.
TheUnknown837-127 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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Brilliant editing
valleyjohn12 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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9/10
July 24, 2010: Life out of Balance
alexart-127 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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10/10
At face value, engaging but peel away some layers and it is profound.
CourtsideJack5 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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9/10
Amazing insight into the way the world lives one day
roger-verdurmen9 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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10/10
Ordinary Wonderful World!
rbferre12 January 2012
How many times have you wondered how a human being lives in another city of this planet? Not something we see in the movies, just a regular, ordinary, mundane, and simple human being.

How many times have you thought how life is short and how you should do to get the most of it.

Well, this movie is about these questions and much more. Using raw footage sent by people from different backgrounds and 192 countries -

which makes us think how powerful the media is - it takes to a fascinating journey to witness a long needed reality check. Fascinating in its own way, because the scenes you see are ordinary. And that is what the enchantment is... art from the ordinary.

It is not a reality show, nor a fictional movie. Life in a Day is just... Life. With all frustrations , discoveries, sadness, and hopes. Just life.

I watched this movie not expecting too much. And boy was I wrong - this kept me mesmerized for 94 minutes. And at the end, you will ask yourself if you are doing the best from your existence in this planet. Not to be missed!
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8/10
One word - amazing.
Ruth_9128 January 2011
Warning: Spoilers
For an hour and a half, I sat back and experience Life in a Day - what do you think happened on July 24th, 2010? Out of 4500 hours of footage, coming from countries all around the world, featuring people of all ages and walks of life, in all conditions of life, with all different kinds of quality of film, the editors and film makers have created something really special.

It was an exploration of humanity. It spanned from the earliest hours of the morning to the few minutes before midnight. It was amazing to see how creative people can be. The simplest aspects of their day - things they consider ordinary - become extraordinary. There was some beautiful imagery. It was filled with montages (it would have to have been - they had to be very careful with their editing and pacing), most of which start of on a light note, but become more serious. A beautiful score and a wonderful soundtrack compliment it. It's funny and heartbreaking and emotional and engages with the audience by allowing us to relate via the only thing every single person on earth can relate to - being human. Our humanity.

Certain people were focused on. The man from Korea who has been cycling around the world for over nine years, having visited 190 countries. He says he's not from North or South - just Korea. He hopes for reconciliation. "The impossible is possible". A gay man coming out to his grandmother. A couple renewing their wedding vows on their 50th anniversary. One of my favourite images was of people lighting floating lanterns and sending them up to the sky.

People were asked to say what they loved, and what they feared. It's not all light-hearted. I've said this was an exploration of humanity - we get the full range of human emotion and experiences. Love, joy, fear, birth, marriage, celebration, religion, war, anger, despair and death. It wouldn't be human if there was no death. People with cancer. People admitting to fear death. Some chilling footage of Love Parade in Germany - when there was that terrible stampede in the tunnel. People probably went along thinking they would just film the festival. A news photographer showing us his home in Afghanistan, juxtaposed with a wife in America, waiting to skype with her husband, who is fighting the war. A montage of humanity at what I felt was its most violent, wild, crazy.

I won't forget the last 'Life in a Day'. A woman who stated she waited all day for something exciting to happen, but it didn't. Nothing happened, and it often doesn't. Life isn't amazing everyday, she says. I'm not special - but she still somehow felt that today was special anyway. She probably didn't even dream of making it into this film. The feeling that this film left me with was hope. So many people in this film had such hope for the future. It's wonderful to see.
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6/10
Unremarkable YouTube mash
Golf India2 June 2011
I watched this movie/documentary on the back of excellent reviews, and the caliber of the director and producer. The subject matter was interesting, asking the web community to capture events happening in their life or around them, on one day - thereby trying to capture globally the essence of living. However it seems the scope of the subject was too large, and difficult to condense and organise. As a result there is no plot, and only a loose structure around the time of the day, i.e. rising of the sun, breakfast, lunch... with all sorts of jumps to different subjects/locations/genres. That is OK if you want to sit through a random mish-mash of amateur clips, but I wondered what was the added value from 90 min of me surfing on YouTube. The answer is editorial choice - it's all in the art of sampling, compiling and presenting. To be fair, some parts were slick, but I wasn't sure about the sudden jumps throughout, with no apparent link. Was the style meant to be impartial and objective / shocking, to drive a point home / partisan, representing a sanitised view of the world (big sponsor backing through LG, who won't like a depressing story even if that was the reality of the user videos)? In the end, I felt the movie was trying to be all things to everyone. It seems this explains the popularity. But I failed to connect with the movie. Worse still, I felt really nauseous from the jerky camera movements. I went to the cinema to be entertained, not to induce vomitting. If you must watch this film, do it from a small screen. I wouldn't pay any money to watch it in the cinema - it's pointless.
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9/10
In a nutshell it was fantastic.
twilightasm1521 April 2011
Warning: Spoilers
This film is incredible beyond belief. There's not much for me to criticize at all. The flow of clips got ever so slightly off beat...meaning it got a bit boring. Also I don't remember there being subtitles. I kind of want to know what they are all saying.I do understand that there were a lot of different languages and they probably didn't have the budget to translate so much for the release at Sundance. I hope they subtitle it when it hits theaters in June. I loved this movie with all my heart and when it hits theaters, I am going. Also when it goes to DVD I'm getting my copy. There isn't a good reason not to like this film. It is happy, funny, heart-wrenching and overall one of the greatest movies I have seen.
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9/10
Life as we know it on film
Steve Pulaski30 January 2011
In late July, filmmaker Kevin MacDonald asked the Youtube community to film themselves on July 24, 2010 and submit the video to the Life in a Day Youtube page. The videos would be edited and made into a ninety minute feature film that would premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2011. It was such a creative idea I couldn't wait to get my Flip and record myself, sadly, the line "must be 18 years or older" prevented me. Whatever, I was still excited to see what others would film and submit to this film. Who wouldn't? Kevin MacDonald stated "it would be kind of like a time capsule that people in the future, maybe twenty, thirty, forty fifty, a hundred, two hundred years could say wow, that's what life was like." To be fair, Life in a Day did come with a price. The submission rate was unprecedented, and I assume lots of people didn't make the final cut for the film. If they did, their clips were butchered to probably lest than a third of what they were. A film like this has many positives, but a lot of negatives as well.

When documenting a film of this large magnitude, there are a plethora of negatives I must state. One, I feel like the people that produced their own clips were cheated in a way. Both Kevin MacDonald and Ridley Scott are smart people with a lot of knowledge, but it is sort of scummy that they get to collect the check for their small part in the film, while the true stars were the Youtube community. To my knowledge, the "actors" in the film don't see a dime of what this movie sees. Probably just a typed letter on Youtube.

Another aspect that sort of brings the film down is the fact that there are numerous scenes that take place outside of America, or in different countries. That's perfectly fine, I was interested in seeing what people in Egypt, Africa, Europe, Asia, or where ever would film. The downside is the film is absent of subtitles, making it impossible to figure out what these people are saying. I bet the producers themselves had no idea what these people were saying either. You can see what they're doing, but that only gives you the vague representation of what is going on.

Now that I've dug through the flaws, lets talk about the positives. For the most part, the film is shot rather well. Keep in mind, thousands of cameras were used to shoot this movie without a doubt. Different mega pixel count, different size, quality, capability, editing, whatever. It's hard to make something look that nice when numerous cameras were involved. Some stuff in this film was mobile phone footage which looked well. Whoever cleaned up the audio/video on here is a technical genius.

My favorite scene in this film was probably the homosexual teenager confessing his true sexual orientation to his grandmother. You can see that he is truly nervous, and scared of her reactions to his love life. We don't hear the grandma, but we see the teen's reactions. This is the kind of thing that belongs in this movie. In ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, etc years homosexuals will hopefully be accepted and not ridiculed for their being, and teens won't have to worry about confessing what they believe is right. They'll be accepted, and free from homophobic bullying.

Numerous other scenes in Life in a Day are very heartfelt and emotional. The end clip is very near and dear to your hearts, and the film does it's best to fit these clips in chronological order because there is no true storyline. Life in a Day is an inventive piece of film that I had the pleasure to see while it was streaming Thursday January 27, 2011 on it's own Youtube channel live from The Sundance Film Festival. Such a surreal experience, and such an unforgettable film.

Starring: The Youtube Community. Directed by Kevin MacDonald and Ridley Scott.
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5/10
Sometimes OK is worse than bad
raybid14 June 2011
Warning: Spoilers
An intriguing idea, and the makers should be applauded for trying it, but I came away thinking - "That was just like watching someone else surf Youtube for 90 minutes". Some of the clips were amazing, moving, inspiring, but so are millions of clips already on Youtube, and I get to choose which ones I watch to match my tastes.

One major negative mark, the film contains 2 scenes of graphic animal slaughter, one is quite lengthy, I found this quite offensive, made me wish even more that I wasn't watching someone else's choice of clips.

It was OK though, it held my attention, it was superbly edited, just fundamentally flawed in its conception, an experiment gone astray, but still OK, but when a film costs so much to go and see, OK just isn't enough is it? Go surf Youtube instead.
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8/10
I YouTube therefore I am
thecatcanwait4 January 2012
Warning: Spoilers
A mish mashy melange was my first reaction on watching this. Then i watched it again and could see more coherence in it.

It's structured around all the ordinary small stuff we have to do to get through the every day: waking up, washing, brushing teeth, shaving, making breakfast, lunch and so on.

And then there's the bigger life-events like coping with illness, getting married, having babies.

Questions are asked like, "What's in your pocket?" or "What do you love/fear? A lonely guy loves his cat… another guy loves his fridge.. another guy fears his hair falling out… a woman fears "not being a mummy"… and so on..

At times the editing is very fast: periodic montage sequences whizz by a conveyor belt of micro images like a Planet Earth ad break.

But then there are several personal pieces that follow individual situations. I liked these slower stories better, such as

The post-graduate returning to Essex to catch up with his "old man" dad, both sat in the car, sharing a burger.

The gay guy coming out to grandma on the phone ("I love you too" he's saying to her)

And the sad scenarios: of the father lighting incense at shrine of dead wife – and the little sons perfunctory remembrance of his mother; or the "Family project" of mother dying of cancer, trying to help her anxious young son make sense of it; or the thankful – tearful – Aussie in hospital after major heart surgery "I'll be out there again, doing crazy things, and enjoying life" he says. But you sense he probably won't.

There's smiley bits too, like the Peruvian shoeshine boy; the rude wedding vows read by the English vicar.

And some nasty bits, like the slaughter of cow, its throat being slashed into to let blood – and there's a rapidly cut together montage of scenes of violence and fighting – deliberately rushed through so as not to dwell too long. The shoplifting Russian/Slav is a bit dismaying too (firstly, that he's filmed getting away with it; secondly that the clip gets sent to be included in the film; and thirdly – that it is included!)

Throughout, is the continual narrative thread of a Korean cycling around the world for the last 9 years – feeling homesick for Korean flies.

Come the afternoon outdoor pursuits – like skydiving out of planes – and Life in a Day has got to feel exhausting.

So much packed in, so much to pack in. I think a million sub-editors were needed to prune the 4500 hours of submitted footage into a mere 90 minutes – just a blink of the Earths eye really.

To begin with i was wanting not to like it, but come the end i was won over. Out of all this mashed up diffuseness something cogent got produced. Although I wonder how much actual directing input Kevin MacDonald did to it. It looks more like a cut and paste collaboration, the chopped up product of countless hours of endless editing – rather than something that's been singularly created.

Question is, would selective clicking on any YouTube vids on any day of the year produce the same result? No, cus this is more of a polished product. But watching a load of randomised clips would probably seem as arbitrary as this film feels. And the effect would feel similar: trawling in too much information just makes the net of your attention go saggy.

I might watch this again one day (Unless they come up with another life in another day next year)

At the end – 2 minutes before midnight – there's a girl in a car bemoaning the fact that "I spent the whole day waiting for something great to happen….all day long nothing really happened…i want people to know that i'm here…. i don't want to cease to exist"

"I don't want to cease to exist". As long as you're seen on YouTube, you can pretend you don't. If you get my drift.
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10/10
Building awareness enables empathy and responsibility.
obinome24 November 2011
What a fantastic film.

As much as I love conventional scripted film and actors, I always know deep down that none of it is 100% real, therefore I am never fully locked in for the whole duration of the movie and any emotions I feel are very short lived.

I had to keep telling myself, 'This is real' to counter act the habits of thinking 'this is not real' and this really made the experience unlike any other, even with documentaries they are often over scripted and distort the truth.

I realize that to build empathy and responsibility we all need to become more aware of our surroundings. This is why the internet has had such a positive impact on human rights, charities, and freedom of speech, which motivates democratic political changes too improve the planet.

I heard just yesterday that the US Congress was trying to pass a bill that would censor the worlds internet. Although online piracy is a strong motive, the real reason is to prevent the worlds people from having a democratic voice. As the more we all see the starvation, inequality, war, corruption, deceit, the more we all strive to make constructive changes to a this over protected sick system.... The vast majority actually want a kinder more equal planet, but right now the system is motivated by profits, and profits motivate dictatorship and corruption.

We must realize our ability to use technology to create a new system of global wealth beyond traditional hierarchy and suffering. It will take time, and we must continue to produce films which show the world as a whole, for us to really understand our connection to the environment. (Watch the Zeitgeist movement movies for free on youtube to understand more about resource based economies)

It makes me upset to know that so many people fear death. But hopefully like me, people will grow to understand their real identity is the whole of planet earth, imagine looking at planet earth from a spaceship, we must learn to see earth as an organism like a tree, and people are just leaves on the tree, they die, but the tree still lives on as something greater. Its a big step to take and the thought process doesn't solidify over night,(took me two years to solidify this awareness) but, now I see all suffering as 'my own' as 'I am' the organism, and all joy as 'mine' too... and therefore we have a responsibility to remove all religion which promotes the thought processes of individualism and division. we have a responsibility make to make everyone's life blissful. AS I AM YOU, AND WE ARE ALL.

This movie enables us to think like ONE organism should.
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10/10
If you only see one documentary this year...
rlhron30 July 2011
This film is a lot like Koyaanisqatsi, only Life in a Day also has words to help tell the story. No matter who you are, no matter how much you have traveled, no matter what you have done in your life, there will be something in this film that you have never seen before, probably several things at that.

Not only is it amazing that the entire documentary was filmed by "everyday Joes", the editing is also brilliant. These stories, probably 100 or more, mess together in a perfect fit, like a beautiful puzzle. The music is fantastic, spot on for every scene. And did I mention the tears? If you are not touched by several of these stories, then you are not from this planet.

You can find reviews of this film saying that this is just overrated, like watching someone surf youtube, lots of cell phone filming (which is not the case), the story is just mish-mash and its only about peoples everyday lives, nothing special about that. You should ask yourself two things about these reviewers. Did they submit footage for this project that was not used in the final film and maybe that is why they don't like it? And two, do these people even know a good film when they see one? Do they consider "Transformers" the best movie ever made?

"Life in a Day" gets my highest recommendation, no other film today is higher. I'm not going to say this is the best documentary ever made, it's way to soon for that kind of talk. I'm just going to say that after you see this film, you will highly recommend it to others as well!
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10/10
Making the ordinary extraordinary
ip man19 June 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Many of us struggle to experience something beautiful and extraordinary in our lives, trying to do things which allow us to feel a little special in the midst of our daily lives. What this film shows us is exactly the opposite - that the extraordinary in our lives lies in the midst of our daily activities, if we can just allow ourselves to accept and appreciate our lives without any preconditions. We also discover through this film that many others also share our hopes, fears, humanity and prejudices.

I salute those who have shared their most intimate moments and private experiences with the rest of us for in having the courage to allow themselves to be seen, they have shown us that it is possible to live through life's difficulties and still persevere - such is the resilience of the human spirit.

You see the Japanese father and his young son living in an abject mess and wonder why. Then you see them offering incense in remembrance of the deceased mother and you get that lump in your throat. There are many other poignant moments - a young man telling his grandmother that he is gay - you can almost hear her struggling for the right things to say on the other end of the 'phone.

This film is also about connection and what it is to be human. Despite the sometimes blurry images, it succeeds extremely well - you care about the people sharing their stories - because they are real people with authentic stories, and not from the fevered imagination of a Hollywood scriptwriter.

Make sure you stay to the end to watch the final clip.

It is probably the best movie I have seen this year - quite a masterpiece of experimental film making.

If you only see one movie this year, make it this one.
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9/10
We're All In It Together
Warning: Spoilers
I have met few people who can actually read me. To most, I come off as a sarcastic, jaded, curmudgeonly, and funny guy. Apart from those I have let through, only two or three have managed to peer through the walls that I have constructed to protect myself from pain, and let's be honest we all have walls of one form or another. Without them, there are a fair number of people who would tear us to shreds just for shits and giggles. Right now though, dear readers, I'm going to let you through for a brief moment.

It is no secret that I have watched a plethora of films, after all until recently I was a film Professor. While a few here and there may have brought tears to my eyes (i.e. Casablanca, E.T.), only two have ever truly reached into my core and left a lasting indelible impression on me. These two films are Cave Of Forgotten Dreams, and Life In A Day, which is the one I would like to talk to you about today.

In case you are unaware of this film, I will tell you what it is. Life In A Day is a crowd-sourced documentary produced by Ridley Scott & Tony Scott in collaboration with YouTube. Ordinary people were asked to answer three basic questions, what do you love? What do you fear? and What's in your pocket? Additionally, they were asked to document their lives on one day, July 24 2010. The result was 80,000 submissions totaling 4,500 hours of footage from 192 countries. The resulting film is breathtaking in both its beauty and horror.

I think many of us go through our day with the thought, perhaps unexpressed, that the world is a cruel and cold place. Violence is everywhere, much of it is random, and it is only a breath that separates us from death. In the film this can certainly be seen, since it does include a number of images of the evil we do to each other, and even to animals.

What the film shows though is that there is more love than hate, joy than sorrow, and hope than fear. Over 94 minutes, we watch as people, real people, fall in love, express their feelings to those they have secretly loved, try to struggle through another day, explore the world, and come out to (and be accepted by) their family. While some of the images in the film are horrifying (at least from my cultural perspective), or heartbreaking, many of them are touching in their simplicity. I found myself enthralled in the lives of these diverse strangers' , and often moved to tears by their foils and triumphs.

Ultimately what these 2 films share is they paint a picture of us. Cave Of Forgotten Dreams gives me a sense of where I came from, but Life In A Day (which is freely available on YouTube here) shows me who I am. It has given me a brand new perspective on this wholly all too short life. Virtually everyone, everywhere, wants the same things; to be safe, to matter, to love and be loved. In the end, it shows that there is more that joins us than separates us. Now go tell someone, anyone at all, that you love them.
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8/10
Interesting, if somewhat erratic, social experiment
Foux_du_Fafa6 May 2012
"Life in a Day" is the result of a social experiment carried out by film legend Ridley Scott and YouTube. The objective was for participants to film their lives on Saturday 24th July 2010, answering a few simple questions along the way. Apparently 4500 hours of footage was received, of which around 90 minutes worth appears. The ultimate result is arguably a somewhat erratic film with a hurried tone, as it tries to condense as much as possible into one film of regular length.

Nonetheless, it is a fascinating look into the diversity of the world, and of life itself. The tone of the film is optimistic and hopeful without seeming too preachy or air-headed. Indeed, the joys of the world are exhibited alongside the pain and frustration that equally must be endured. The film also endures as a fascinating time capsule, and should do so for future generations; life in Afghanistan (including the type of images you're unlikely to see), the 2010 Duisburg Love Parade disaster and the life of an American soldier's wife are all referenced. Worth a watch.
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9/10
Excellent documentary... Well worth a look...
ajs-106 November 2011
I remember the beginnings of this idea being released into the world. We, the world in general, were asked to film something, anything, on 24th July 2010 and post it to a special YouTube page. 80,000 clips and films were submitted, totalling 4,500 hours of footage from 192 countries. It fell to director Kevin Macdonald and his team to whittle this down into a 90 minute film. And boy what a film! There are very few documentaries I've seen that are better than this. Such a diversity of cultures, subjects and people, it really opened my eyes.

The format basically follows the time arc of the day, from the early hours of the morning right through to the following midnight. There were pieces from a vast array of peoples from all around the globe, some quite touching, some disturbing and some just plain silly. I must warn you that there are one or two scenes that some may find upsetting and there is a little swearing. Quite a variation in picture quality didn't really detract from what is quite a stunning piece of work. It's all held together with a beautiful musical soundtrack by Harry Gregson-Williams and Matthew Herbert.

I really enjoyed watching the diversity on show here and I had to keep reminding myself that all these things happened on the same day. For me, the star of the show was the Korean guy who was cycling around the world. He just wanted to reunite North and South Korea and he had such optimism. It's beautifully put together with various themes running through it. Never boring, no voice-over, just the people of the world telling their own stories… Highly Recommended.

My score: 8.9/10

IMDb Score: 8.1/10 (based on 1,675 votes at the time of going to press).
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9/10
The Ordinary becomes extraordinary!!
Movie Geek14 June 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Last year (2010) YouTube launched a campaign, supported by executive producers Tony and Ridley Scott, asking everybody with a camcorder to record a day in their lives. Fast forward a year to 2011 and director Kevin Macdonald and editor Joe Walker (never an editor has been more crucial to the making of a film), release their documentary to the world and to the same people who actually filmed it. Apparently 80000 videos for a total of 4500 hours were submitted from 126 different nations. The result is a film that tells the story of a day on Earth, and precisely the 24th of July 2010: 24 hours in the life of ordinary people. Their stories, their images, their thoughts, all linked together by an incredible work of editing and a rousing soundtrack by Harry Gregson- Williams. You can argue that some of it might be slightly heavy-handed (a shot of a cow being killed on camera is then, non very subtlety, cut together with a man eating from a bowl of spaghetti), but some of the choices are absolutely inspired (montage sequences of people getting up in the morning or having breakfast or simply walking). It's the amalgamation of all these little snippets of life that makes the film an incredible watch and in the end it ends up actually telling a story as the ordinary becomes extraordinary. The film starts at midnight as people are still asleep in most places: some night shift workers are already at it, some wild party animals are still up from the previous day, but generally speaking it's a quiet start. Within a few minutes, we are treated by a sunrise montage from all over the world as people are getting up in the most remote corners of the globe. They have breakfast, some of them go to work, others stay at home, somebody shaves for the first time (a very funny scene!), somebody decides to lay in bed for a bit longer, and somebody else begins a new "empty" day: loneliness might be just around the corner… Despite the sometimes over-indulgent choice of editing and the ever-present soundtrack the film still manages to capture that pulsating realism of modern life through simple gestures, looks, words and silences as the similarities and (many) differences are exposed. But just when you are about to think "is this film going to be just a long montage sequence?", then the film suddenly slows down and you are actually treated to real moments into people's life (well, I say "real", obviously there's a camera filming so I suppose it's "a version of reality", but that doesn't diminish its value nor its emotional impact on the audience). For example, quite early on a little boy of probably 4 is woken up by his dad who's filming the whole thing (I seem to remember they were in Japan or thereabout): we stay with them for a while as they talk about seemingly mundane things: the boy is incredibly sweet, the house is strangely messy. Then dad says "let's go and say 'hi' to mom". They move to a corner of a room where we see for the first time a little shrine with a picture of a woman. Together they light an incense and pay their little morning tribute to the mom. It'a quiet moment that tell a thousand words: no need for commentary or any explanation. It's clear these two have been doing this for a while. It's clear they are incredibly close to each other. Mom is gone. They are both alone, but they have each other… We fill the gaps in an instant. It's an incredibly poignant moment. This time there is no music playing underneath. The director knows when to manipulate its audience and when he should take a step back and let us make our own mind and feel what we want to feel. Life in a day is full of simple moments like this one. So simple and yet so powerful. Don't worry, there are a lot of laugh-out-loud moments too. Generally speaking the film is edited in such a way that shows a certain optimism that comes with the beginning of a new day and yet is some cases, this fades away for some as we approach sunset and go through the night by which time loneliness takes over the weakest ones. It's a beautifully constructed device, which might be a bit contrived but it works perfectly. In the end, this is a film about everything: rich countries and poor countries, smiles and tears (quite a lot in my case, I must confess), day and night, life and death, animals and humans, man and women, whites, blacks, gays, straights, children and very old people, happiness and desperation. We are all there, with our fears, our idiosyncrasies, our routines, our doubts, our weaknesses… Everybody will come out of it and will probably remember something different. Each of us might identify with a different moment in the film. One thing is certain: you will never forget it. It might not be a complete masterpiece, but there is so much good stuff in it that makes you forget the slightly sugary moments and the most heavy handed ones. This was my favourite film of the year so far and definitely the most intense emotional experience I've had in a long time.
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3/10
Simply Overrated
Warning: Spoilers
We're entering a period in cinematic history where people hear about a "cool" idea for a film and accept it as being breathtaking and fantastic because the idea dictates that it should be. The idea for Life in a Day was interesting as the technological developments around the world mean that making this film would only be possible now, however the execution of this idea was sub-par.

My main criticism of the film comes from the cheap attempts the film uses to evoke emotion in the viewer. For example, in order to evoke sympathy there was almost a non-exhaustive showing of poor people. To evoke humour, the film relied on people pulling silly faces or doing silly things which may have been funny if the viewer was there or knew the people involved, however it seems that the makers of the film were ignorant of the fact that the viewer does not. These attempts to evoke emotion can be easily seen through as a failure to connect the audience to those on screen.

My secondary criticism of the film is the style that they presented the clips in. I believe that the film would have been a lot more enjoyable had the producers decided to steer the film into more of an educational experience rather than an artistic venture. The film portrays the world as something that it is not: happy, and this is relayed in the film as "art". As an educational film, the world could have been presented in a more accurate, two sided way.

Having this said, there are parts of the film which deserve credit. The soundtrack at certain points is very fitting and the Love Parade scene was by a long shot the best part of the film. It seems obvious that the editor is very proud of his work in this film as he went for a very hands on approach, but at its base the editing was very pretentious as it further enhances this fake view of the world.

Life in a Day deserves a lot less credit than it receives, but it is a film that will get the simple minded thinking. You will love this film if you are: an environmentalist and/or on antidepressants. You will hate this film if you are a: rational/cynic.
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