Life in a Day

The premise of this project is relatively cool. YouTube and Scott Free Films told the world to send them footage that they shot on July 24, 2010. They asked the people three questions: What’s in your pocket? What do you love? What do you fear?

In one sense, the crazy variety of responses is the star of the film. We see a caesarian section, a guy capturing an octopus, a first-person shot of a high dive, Afghan girls practicing karate, and lots of people brushing their teeth. At a hair over 90 minutes, chopped up into mostly clips of a few seconds, this doesn’t begin to cover the breadth of stuff people recorded.

In another sense, it’s the editors who deserve the credit for turning what must have been a lot of really horrible, garbage shots of stupidity into a mesmerizing kaleidoscope of human activity. Very little of the film is aimless wandering. It’s codified into a series of vignettes. There’s a birth vignette, a wedding vignette, and of course the answers to those three questions. Only a few of the “characters” return again and again in the film: a family dealing with cancer, a boy shining shoes on the street, a Korean man biking around the world. Tying the whole thing up in a neat bow is the music, which nicely sets the tone and moves us from edit to edit without feeling like we’re being tossed around.

For me, though, the most amazing thing was the fact that all of this stuff, every thing we see happen, happens on a single day. A woman talking about her love for her children in Africa, a man proposing to his girlfriend in Las Vegas, festival goers being trampled in Germany, a boy lighting incense for his dead mother, all of it was happening at the same time.

If that much interesting, beautiful, horrifying, scary, funny, intense stuff all happened in just one day… how extraordinary a place we live.

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