I took a little break from my usual routines to enjoy a documentary I’ve been saving. Life in a Day (2011) focuses on a single day, July 24, 2010, and includes scenes selected from 4,500 hours of footage in 80,000 YouTube video clips from 192 countries.
The story behind the film is fascinating. Originally created as a partnership between YouTube, Ridley Scott Associates and LG electronics, the project was outsourced, tasking people around the world to film their response to the questions, What do you love? What do you fear? and What’s in your pocket? The preponderance of clips were obtained from people contacted through YouTube and more traditional television and news sources, but at least 25% came from cameras provided to people in the developing world.
I found the documentary totally absorbing. My eyes never left the screen. Visual effects paired with an excellent score provides mesmerizing cohesiveness although there isn’t a traditional storyline . The clips are artfully pieced together in a seamless montage of scenes, some with dialogue, some wordless, moving through brief episodes depicting sadness, joy, inspiration–poignant by both similarities and differences in people around the globe.
In some ways fear and love are expressed similarly, but to the question what’s in your pocket? the differences are vast, as is artfully punctuated in a scene between a gentleman tossing the keys to his luxury car followed by that of a man in Haiti with empty pockets. Although the movie moved me along with a variety of emotional responses, what I’ve been thinking about is how most of the submissions represented small moments in one ordinary day.
Watching hundreds of small moments in this compact 90-minute film highlighted aspects of our human nature employed to shore up personal vulnerability, and in some instances of life and death, the complex measures that people use to cope, hold onto hope, and move forward.
Most of our days are full of thousands of small movements. Ordinary days. Routine, for the most part. I don’t think I stop often enough to be truly grateful for just that…an ordinary day.
I’m looking forward to a very ordinary weekend. It will be satisfying to get through a week’s worth of mail piled high on the kitchen table, mostly unopened. Laundry is a necessity. And how two people who are never home can so greatly upset order in one house I don’t know.
So I will do the most ordinary of household chores and establish some kind of restored order before a new week begins. I’m looking forward to it!
And I’ll also need to put some mental energy into solving the question of what to do with a growing tortoise we are currently calling Destructo. Darwin (Destructo) has been climbing on the backyard train tracks again and has uprooted some of my succulents in the process. He’s digging in other parts of the yard, too, paddling in the dirt and eating small pieces of the gravel lining the path to his home. He knocked over one of my ceramic pots, breaking the pot and spilling its contents, and he has taken to chewing down some of the other succulents around the yard.
Do we need to build a corral?
I also need to spend time this weekend analyzing what has gone wrong in my vegetable garden. At the moment I think I have a few of the world’s most expensive tomatoes. As much time, money and attention as I’ve devoted, the yield should be MUCH greater. I always have a good tomato crop…but not this year. And what’s up with the tomatillos?
All flower and no fruit? I have seen bees…another mystery.
Ordinary, every day issues. If these are the biggest obstacles of the moment I’m altogether fortunate. I will happily accept an ordinary weekend and move about it with enjoyment.
I hope you have an equally enjoyable weekend with your own version of ordinary. Do consider seeing Life in a Day. It’s in DVD–I streamed it from Netflix, if you have that service. Click HERE for a very nice YouTube trailer. It makes me want to see it again.
So are we ready for one giant exhale? Yes!