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Life In A Day

Year: 2011
Production Co: Hanway/Scott Free
Studio: YouTube
Director: Kevin Macdonald
Producer: Ridley Scott/Tony Scott

It's not the first time user-produced online video has made the jump or influenced what we see to the big screen – that would be District 9, which is where Neill Blomkamp ended up after his Hollywood calling card online short film Alive in Joburg.

But Life in A Day is a more literal expression of user-generated content. Together with director Kevin McDonald, Ridley and Tony Scott asked YouTube users the world over to record something of their lives on July 24 2010 and post it, resulting in a video time capsule thousands of hours long about life on Earth.

The hardest job would have been watching the sheer volume of stuff and selecting enough to fill up a 95 minute movie. It follows the basic structure of the day, depicting people waking up in the small hours to start their workday, and ends late at night with a melancholy young girl lamenting the fact that nothing happened to her that day, an unwitting philosophical treatise on the nature of existence and whether – if nothing happens to us - we're here at all.

Unfortunately that's as deep as the film gets – the spirit of it's more interesting than watching the film itself. There are some lovely sequences such as the three African women making hypnotic music and singing as they go about their tasks of preparing food and provisions for their village, but most of it is the reason reality TV is often so uninteresting. Spending the better part of an hour and a half watching people have breakfast or talk on the phone might float your boat, but it didn't mine.

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