Sundance Review: Life In A Day

Friday, January 28 by

Life in a Day was made by asking YouTube filmmakers to submit footage about what their day was like on Jul 24, 2010. I would assume that such an endeavor would generate a lot of really pretentious footage. If you’re like me, you would be right.

It begins at midnight/early morning and goes through midnight, jumping around the world to show different experiences. When one guy films his walk through a parking garage and ride up an elevator, you’ve got to wonder, “How is this the most representative clip out of 80,000 submissions?” That’s not life. That’s a gimmick, like the guys going to the bathroom in Awesome! I F***in’ Shot That!

Most of the world wakes up in the morning. Of course footage of a homeless man sleeping is sad. An Asian father and son wake up to light a shrine to the departed wife/mother. A mom with cancer and catheter bags has to prepare her toddler son. Since that’s so emotional, they bring that family back later in the day.

When people start cooking breakfast, it gets really annoying. The eggs crack, vegetables chop and bacon sizzles in a rhythm. Thank you, Stomp, for making every filmmaker think natural noises are music. The rhythmic montage is such a crutch and there are several in Life. Find a flow that’s not a blatant assault on the ears. The music itself is horrible. It’s either an oppressive somber violin or overbearing flute music.

Some montages are just contrived, like one filmmaker asks “What is in your bag or pocket?” so everybody shares their valuables. Later that same filmmaker asks “What do you fear?” and people get to be racist and homophobic. Yes, I’m singling out the homophobe and the anti-Palestine Israeli. Yeah, we know those people exist.

A Korean bicyclist pops up three times, traveling the world. In a poverty stricken third world country, a family of 14 has to tie up their mentally challenged son/brother so he doesn’t wander off. They use the R word. A Middle Eastern father goes to Dubai for work to send money back home. I know that seems exotic to American audiences, but in the rest of the world that’s just as mediocre as our mundane lives.

If the cancer, poverty and hate aren’t blatant enough, there’s animal slaughter by cattle gun and throat slashing. Some people filmed the Love Parade mob in Duisburg.

A Parkour performance is cool, but he also shoplifts. If I was that market owner, I would totally prosecute that guy using this film as evidence!

One A-hole keeps filming when his wife repeatedly asks him to help her with the children.

Somehow no one sent in nudity. Or, if they did they obviously weren’t going to use it.

Even the end credits suck. The YouTube contributing artists’ names are not in alphabetical order, so if you know someone who sent in a clip, you can’t possibly find their name until you can pause it on DVD.



  1. January 28, 2011 8:52 am


    I’m not going to lie. You sound pretty childish. Perhaps your submission didn’t make it into the movie?

  2. January 28, 2011 8:52 am


    Wow, you didn’t get the point of the film at all. What did you want to see? Beautiful sunsets and babies laughing and cotton candy? The film makers basically tried to show life as we live it right now at the start of the 21st century and I think for the most part they did that well. They captured a lot, from the inspirational and ludicrous dreams (the korean cyclist) to simply coping with life to the fear of being mundane and not doing anything with your life (the whining girl at the end). They showed life and people with its flaws and prejudices (the homophobe, and the racist) but also showed people enjoying life with very little. I liked the story of the mother battling cancer for a second time while dealing with a child who is just not quite old enough to understand. Frankly they glossed over a bit of the uglier side of life and I like that because the movie didn’t turn into a morality tale or a plea for animal rights or environmental sustainability of something. Where do you think your steak comes from? Did you think butchers ask cattle to die for the greater good or something? This movie should be looked at as a time capsule capturing what it is to live life today (though with a very obvious focus on the wealthy of the world).

  3. January 28, 2011 8:52 am


    This review is stupid, didn’t you once appreciate the artistic beauty of a regular with person with a handheld camera?

    And I am tired of people complaining about no sex or nudity, if you guys want to see that, you can turn the movie off and go watch porn.

  4. January 28, 2011 8:52 am


    This isn’t critical at all, it’s just insulting. If you’re going to criticize the movie, do it intelligently.

  5. January 28, 2011 8:52 am


    I can’t believe this is even considered a ‘review’. Please learn how to properly criticize a film before you write it on a film site like this.

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