Celebrating Great Films

Friday, November 04, 2011

Britain in a Day

I just watched Life in a Day, a 90-minute collation of hundreds of video clips from around the world featuring everyday life on 24 July 2010. It's an ambitious idea - there were 80,000 submissions totalling 4,500 hours of footage - but it is brilliantly executed. There is laughter in here, and regret, the sublime and the mundane, love and hate, poverty and wealth, dreams and fears. A glorious tapestry of small moments that builds up to far more than the sum of its parts.

Excitingly, there is an opportunity to contribute to a similar endeavour on a more local scale. You can film  your life on this coming Saturday 12 November 2011 and submit it to Britain in a Day. I want in!

(Meanwhile, if you liked this film, I recommend What About Me? and Koyaanisqatsi.)

Thursday, November 03, 2011


#93 at time of writing.

This film has little hooks and surprises around every corner, so much so that I hesitate to say anything about it for fear of ruining the surprise. Suffice to say, it is dark, stylish, violent, bizarre, and very very cool. Min-Sik Choi's performance in the lead role is particularly memorable.

The story kicks off with a man being kidnapped out of the blue and locked in a small room by his mysterious captor. For 15 years. The core question (which is right there on the poster, if you can read Korean) is WHY? A thoroughly compelling question if you ask me.

I'm not sure I've seen any other Korean films. The style reminded me of Japanese horror movies I've seen, but with a much more satisfyingly cohesive story. In fact, the story is based on a Japanese manga, which you can read online here.

This is the second installment of director Chan-wook Park's Revenge trilogy; I'd be interested to see the other two, Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance and Lady Vengeance.