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A New Movie, Starring You

Filed by KOSU News in Art & Life.
July 24, 2011

Director Kevin Macdonald, known for major Hollywood movies like The Last King of Scotland and State of Play, had an even bigger idea last year: to capture 24 hours of everyday life around the entire world.

YouTube users from more than 192 countries uploaded more than 4,500 hours of video to his channel, all of it shot on a single day: July 24, 2010.

Macdonald and his team, which included directors Ridley and Tony Scott, took that footage and made it into a 90-minute documentary called, aptly, Life in A Day.

“We were looking for stories which resonated, or more than that, served as a metaphor for something bigger in life,” Macdonald told weekends on All Things Cohsidered host Guy Raz.

One of those resonant moments came from a Japanese father and son going through their morning routine. In between brushing his teeth and watching TV, the young boy says good morning to a shrine to his deceased mother.

“It’s a masterful piece of filmmaking, maybe unintentionally,” Macdonald says, “but it highlights what I’d call the aesthetic of amateurism. There’s a beauty in the home-video style.”

Macdonald says watching the film is a philosophical experience, and can change how one sees the world.

“It made me realize that cultural differences, which are the things we’re mostly preoccupied by, those things are actually the superficialities of life,” he says. [Copyright 2011 National Public Radio]

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