Friday, 17 June 2011

[471] Life In A Day (2011) Review

After a quiet couple of weeks (of hard work, I assure you), I'm back, pontificating about a widely-acclaimed recent release.

There's currently a real confusion about how to tackle YouTube. There's no doubt that it's now shaping and affecting Internet culture, entertaining millions with short videos of babies laughing, pets talking and spoiled schoolgirls indulging in expensive forms of karaoke.

Although, while its ephemera are often highlighted, its more subtle aspects are rarely championed. Has there ever been a similar cultural organ, which acts simultaneously as an online archive for visual media, and a platform for everyday voices? At its heart, it is an immersive catalogue of video culture, from music promos and trailers to skits and spoofs, from astoundingly creative content to self-obsessed vlogging.

Out of this struggle for legitimacy and definition comes
Life In A Day, an ambitious, unashamedly self-aggrandising project, which takes one aspect of the YouTube phenomena, that of micro-autobiography, and uses it to tell the modest story of life as we knew it on 24th July 2010.

Produced in part by Ridley and Tony Scott, and eventually directed by Kevin Macdonald, the project invited YouTube users to submit videos about how the day panned out for them. The resulting film is nothing short of an incredible feat of editing, whittling down thousands of submissions and arranging the prime cuts into a tightly-wound ninety-five minute showcase.

However, such ambitious beginnings lumber the finished project with a conflict of theme and purpose, a tension between being a time capsule for the date in question, and providing a global survey of human experience, as well as being, as the posters so proudly state, "filmed by you".

Read the full article here.

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