So I posted up the trailer to Life in a Day a few weeks ago and said I was pretty excited about it. I wasn’t sure if many cinemas would show it especially as I was stuck in fvcking Birmingham the weekend it was released and I expected it to have a limited release as it was ‘arty’ you know? I figured they might be showing Life in a Day at the Electric (the oldest cinema in the country and friend of the indie) or something but they were showing the new Gregg Araki instead. Go figure. To my surprise though the Vue cinema at Star City was showing it. In fairness though it was only showing it once a day at 7:05. Still, I wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity to see Life in a Day on the big screen – even if it meant going to Star City – so I headed down.
If you read my earlier post on Life in a Day, then you probably know the premise behind it already in that the film makers and Youtube asked people to film parts of their lives on July 24th 2010 and subsequently upload it to the site. Then they edited it together and made a movie. It’s kind of hard to review a movie like Life in a Day because well, put quite simply it’s not really a movie (although for all you scriptwriting geeks out there there was a page 75) in the conventional sense and there’s not really much I can say about it that you probably don’t already know from reading the synopsis, unless I detailed each of the videos incorporated into it which would be pointless. What I can say though is that the movie is awesome. It veers wildly from hilarious (a guy eating a massive watermelon) to poignant (a 14 person family living in a crypt) to gross (a cow being shot in the head and having its throat slit) to downright freaky (a giraffe giving birth) in seconds and is never boring throughout its running time. In fact, at the end I was kinda disappointed it was over as I felt like I could easily watch another hour of these snippets of people’s lives, fascinating and touching as they were.
Despite there being no overall plot there are a few recurring characters in the narrative (a family dealing with a mother’s cancer, a Korean guy cycling across the world who hopes to unite Korea somehow) and several themes (what do you fear? what’s in your pockets?) that help to tie the whole thing together pretty well. There are also several vignette kinda parts that just focus on one story for a minute or so – one of my favourite parts was about a guy building up the courage to tell a girl he knows that he fancies her all day and then getting shot down.
Life in a Day pretty much does what you would expect it to and paints a picture of Life in a Day on this planet, right here, right now. Although it is cheesy at times (juxtaposing a guy in Afghanistan’s story with that of an army wife getting ready to Skype her husband is pretty crass, as is the closing dialogue) the fact that it presents such a diverse mosaic of cultures and life on his planet in such an uplifting manner really should be championed and experienced by everyone. I can’t really recommend it highly enough. Even worth going to Star City for it.
Follow timw_brap on twitter @timw_brap
Follow Sick Chirpse on twitter @sickchirpse