Reviews - Specialty Releases


Film Review: Life in a Day

Doc oddity of crowd-sourced footage from hundreds of amateurs around the globe reflecting their notions of life in a typical day is all over the map geographically but isolated in a dead zone emotionally, thematically and intellectually.

July 26, 2011

-By Doris Toumarkine


filmjournal/photos/stylus/1261668-Life_Day_Md.jpg

For movie details, please click here.

An official selection at fests as important as Sundance, Berlin, SXSW and Seattle, Life in a Day (July 24, 2010, specifically) only makes sense as an experiment in new content creation for a world already drowning in content.

Culled from more than 80,000 videos submitted to YouTube and representing over 4,500 hours, the doc’s 90 minutes of material from everyday folk around the world amounts to naught. The film bounces around in no particular order, with montages of people waking up, eating breakfast, getting married, etc. But where/who are they?

In the hodgepodge are short sequences featuring a giraffe giving birth, a Korean on a bike traveling the world (How about a doc just about this guy?), an old hippie sharing his tribulations, a Mexican kid shining shoes, a poor Arab family, the awful execution of a cow, a Brit and his kid just hanging out, a big German gathering where people are trampled to death, a goat’s throat cut, and so on. Themes here are inconsequential and there’s no context for any of what is delivered, nor are places and languages identified. Life in a Day might speak to world travelers, but those more anchored in their armchairs will find this journey meaningless.

Yes, that crowd-sourcing idea (Cheap content! Everyone’s a filmmaker!) seems cool. But the film leaves you cold and asking: Where am I and why am I here in the first place? If it’s a movie theatre, you’re a sitting duck.


Film Review: Life in a Day

Doc oddity of crowd-sourced footage from hundreds of amateurs around the globe reflecting their notions of life in a typical day is all over the map geographically but isolated in a dead zone emotionally, thematically and intellectually.

July 26, 2011

-By Doris Toumarkine


filmjournal/photos/stylus/1261668-Life_Day_Md.jpg

For movie details, please click here.

An official selection at fests as important as Sundance, Berlin, SXSW and Seattle, Life in a Day (July 24, 2010, specifically) only makes sense as an experiment in new content creation for a world already drowning in content.

Culled from more than 80,000 videos submitted to YouTube and representing over 4,500 hours, the doc’s 90 minutes of material from everyday folk around the world amounts to naught. The film bounces around in no particular order, with montages of people waking up, eating breakfast, getting married, etc. But where/who are they?

In the hodgepodge are short sequences featuring a giraffe giving birth, a Korean on a bike traveling the world (How about a doc just about this guy?), an old hippie sharing his tribulations, a Mexican kid shining shoes, a poor Arab family, the awful execution of a cow, a Brit and his kid just hanging out, a big German gathering where people are trampled to death, a goat’s throat cut, and so on. Themes here are inconsequential and there’s no context for any of what is delivered, nor are places and languages identified. Life in a Day might speak to world travelers, but those more anchored in their armchairs will find this journey meaningless.

Yes, that crowd-sourcing idea (Cheap content! Everyone’s a filmmaker!) seems cool. But the film leaves you cold and asking: Where am I and why am I here in the first place? If it’s a movie theatre, you’re a sitting duck.
Post a Comment
Asterisk (*) is a required field.
* Author: 
Rate This Article: (1=Bad, 5=Perfect)

*Comment:
 

More Specialty Releases

E-Team
Film Review: E-Team

Four international human rights investigators descend on political atrocities to determine accountability. More »

Laggies
Film Review: Laggies

Disappointing comedic entry about a late-20s slacker who won’t grow up is writer/filmmaker Lynn Shelton’s first outing directing someone else’s material. Points here for strong cast and an occasional chuckle, but otherwise there’s just no point. More »

Rudderless
Film Review: Rudderless

Well-done indie drama about a lost-soul house painter reborn through rock ’n’ roll is a nice actor’s showcase for star Billy Crudup and an impressive directorial debut for actor William H. Macy. But in spite of some good work onscreen, both hero and story lack the edge and originality to carry this drama beyond respectability. More »

Camp X-Ray
Film Review: Camp X-Ray

Army guard and Guantanamo detainee form a grudging relationship in a thoughtful but far-fetched drama. More »

ADVERTISEMENT



REVIEWS

Fury Review
Film Review: Fury

American tanks fight superior German forces in the closing days of World War II. More »

Birdman
Film Review: Birdman (or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Virtuosic camerawork and a stellar ensemble of actors more than make up for the occasional moment of portentous twaddle in Alejandro G. Iñárritu's latest—and maybe his best—film. More »

Player for the Film Journal International website.


ADVERTISEMENT



INDUSTRY GUIDES

» Blue Sheets
FJI's guide to upcoming movie releases, including films in production and development. Check back weekly for the latest additions.

» Distribution Guide
» Equipment Guide
» Exhibition Guide

ORDER A PRINT SUBSCRIPTION

Film Journal International

Subscribe to the monthly print edition of Film Journal International and get the full visual impact of this valuable resource for the cinema business.

» Click Here

SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

Learn how to promote your company at the Film Expo Group events: ShowEast, CineEurope, and CineAsia.

» Click Here