Can a Day Change Your Life?


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Seyma Dag is a member of Glasgow Film Theatre Youth Board and took part in Glasgow Youth Film Festival 2019 as a young programmer. She's picked a selection of films that speak to the strange situation we are all living through now - and how just one day can change the course of a life, a family, a community or even a generation.


When weeks feels like decades and every day is the same old, same old, I wanted to compile a list of 10 great films that take place in one day (or less) to prove that a day can make a drastic change to your life. 

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Cleo From 5 to 7 (PG)
(1962) dir. Agnès Varda 
Available on Amazon Prime

We follow Cleo, a singer and hypochondriac, through a day of her life (from 5am to 7pm) as she waits to get the test results from her doctor and find out if she has cancer.

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Before Sunrise (15)
(1995) dir. Richard Linklater 
Available on Amazon Prime, Netflix and BFI Player

On his way to Vienna, American Jesse meets Céline, a student returning to Paris. After long conversations forge a surprising connection between them, they wind up spending one evening together in Vienna, believing that will be their only night together.

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Good Time (15)
(2017) dir. Josh Safdie, Benny Safdie 
Available on Amazon Prime and Netflix

After a failed bank robbery leads to Connie’s younger brother being arrested, Connie embarks on a twisted odyssey through New York City’s underworld to get his brother out of jail.

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Magnolia (18)
(1999) dir. Paul Thomas Anderson 
Available on Amazon Prime and BFI Player

The lives of several unfortunate individuals become connected over the course of 24 strange hours in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles.

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Superbad (15)
(2007) dir. Greg Mottola 
Available on Amazon Prime and Netflix

Two co-dependent high school seniors are forced to deal with separation anxiety after their plan to stage a booze-soaked party goes wrong.

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Groundhog Day (PG)
(1993) dir. Harold Ramis 
Available on Amazon Prime, Netflix and BFI Player

I mean… technically, it’s true.

A narcissistic TV weatherman, along with his attractive-but-distant producer and mawkish cameraman, is sent to report on Groundhog Day in the small town of Punxsutawney, where he finds himself repeating the same day over and over, and over...

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Shaun of the Dead (15)
(2004) dir. Edgar Wright 
Available on Amazon Prime, Sky and BFI Player

Shaun lives a supremely uneventful life, which is abruptly disrupted when the dead return to life and make strenuous attempts to snack on ordinary Londoners.

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Do The Right Thing (15)
(1989) dir. Spike Lee 
Available on Amazon Prime, Sky and BFI Player

Over the course of the hottest day of the year in New York City, a pizza delivery boy navigates through racial, generational, and class conflicts, building until it explodes into violence. 

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Ferris Bueller's Day Off (12A)
(1986) dir. John Hughes 
Available on Amazon Prime and Netflix

A high school wise-guy pretends to be sick to skip school and have an exciting day off alongside his girlfriend and his best buddy, while trying to outwit his obsessive school principal and his avenger sister along the way.

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The Passion of Joan of Arc (PG)
(1928) dir. Carl Theodor Dreyer 
Available on BFI Player

A 15th-century teenage warrior Jeanne d’Arc is on trial for claiming she has spoken to God, and subjected to inhumane treatment at the hands of church court officials.

In this time we’re all living in, I don’t think advice like ‘just change your routine’ or ‘erase negativity’ really works, but it is true that sometimes you’ve got to give life a kick and these films inspire me to do that! Changing your life is a simple thing to say, but a very tough thing to do, but we all just need to take a first step.

There’s no rewind nor replay in life, so let’s live each day like it’s the day our life might change.

Seyma Dag


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