Day Is Done (2011) MIFF Film Review


Thomas Imbach clearly doesn’t mind looking bad. I say this because in Day is Done, his character is revealed (and often it is an unflattering picture which is shown) through his answering machine messages. I am not sure if he has put in every message he received over fifteen years or if he has selected them – and if he did select them, I wonder why he chose to portray himself in this way. There are happy times, such as when he is receiving messages advising him that his work is being recognised with awards, but also much sadder times, with relationship break-ups, and messages from the mother of his son trying to deal with raising a child separately from his father.

This audio is accompanied by images mostly filmed out of the window of his studio in Zurich. Sometimes the images are in slow motion, and sometimes it is time lapse. Some of the images are compelling and some mundane, but all have appeal.

It is fascinating to see a life portrayed in this manner, however I wonder about how successful it is as a film – especially at this length. There are also several sections that have music, and these sections lost my interest. I could see this working well in smaller sections, and perhaps as part of an installation in a gallery rather than in a cinema.

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