Life in a Clock on a Screen

August 16, 2011

Who knew? The YouTube indie-movie Life in a Day is the freaky feel-good twin of the art-world movie The Clock:

  • they construct dogmatically linear narratives with staccato marches forward to metronome of sun, wave, and cuckoo
  • they piece their homages-to-the-day from found source material
  • compilation films both, they redirect their footage to new “trans-media” screens: from YouTube to art-house, from cineplex to museum
  • triumphs of the database, they impose new logics (of narrative, linearity, causality) through montage
  • false devotees of duration, they foreshorten time’s stickiness with a jittery compulsion for change
  • there were lotsa clock-shots in both

But here the similarities end, for

  • one is built from trash, finding the artful in the prosaic; while the other builds from both competent industry product and great masterpieces alike, re-locating the art squarely to the artist’s hand and mind
  • one is a sappy celebration of humanity and community and commonality; the other, a high-brow parlor game for would-be cineastes
  • one finds narrative pleasure in documentary’s unexpected truth (long takes are only granted for scenes of quirky, revealing, to-the-camera soul-bearing); the other disturbs originary narrative coherence through its showy and artful cornucopia of associational documentary editing techniques (color, movement, weather, feeling)

With so many images and so little time, at last dawns the era of the editor: the wife at the editing bay, not the man with the movie camera.

Elizaveta Svilova, editor of MWMC, as seen in MWMC

One Response to “Life in a Clock on a Screen”


  1. […] I did. The first is about duration (something I find I blog about quite a bit when I search the term) so not a revelation so much as a much appreciated reminder of all we miss […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: