By Arthur Smith
Director Kevin MacDonald embarked on a new project last year to capture a snapshot of everyday life all around the world.
YouTube users from over 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," McDonald 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 tells Raz, "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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About the AuthorArthur Smith
Arthur Smith is the former editor of WGBHArts. Executive producer for digital education at WGBH, Arthur, an amateur pianist and singer, was previously a freelance classical music reviewer for the Washington Post for 9 years. He has also worked at an opera company, and ran the information service and publications programs for OPERA America, the national service organization for the art form. Since 1991, he has been the program annotator for Vocal Arts DC, a classical song recital series based at Washington's Kennedy Center.