Thursday, 9 June 2011

Life In A Day review (The List, Issue 681)

This film is the result of a massive YouTube project, directed by Kevin Macdonald and produced by Ridley Scott, that asked people around the world to make a film of their life on a specific day, 24 July 2010. From the 80,000 videos submitted (a mind-numbing 4,500 hours of footage), Macdonald and his army of editors have meticulously crafted this unique and entertaining hour and a half glimpse at one day as lived around the world.

A lot of the material flashes by in quickly-cut montages, throwing up some powerful stand-alone images - a cow being slaughtered is particularly shocking, as is footage of people tragically crushed at Germany’s Love Parade. Macdonald’s over-reliance on music to create mood and connect clips together occasionally feels manipulative; much more effective are the moments that he allows one individual’s story to develop and speak for itself, from a Peruvian shoe-shine boy, to an American cancer-sufferer, to a charismatic round-the-world cyclist. Interestingly, the perspectives offered on humanity are overwhelmingly positive, indeed joyful; audiences will find themselves laughing often out of a sense of recognition and connection with these disparate lives.

Life In A Day is in selected cinemas from Fri 17 Jun. This review first published in The List magazine.

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