Life-world Series

Joni Gutierrez, 2017

Composed of ten short film episodes shot in Hong Kong, Japan, Vietnam, Indonesia, mainland China, and the USA, Life-world Series (2017, 118 minutes) is a collection of cinematic meditations on everyday life. Part of Gutierrez' doctoral dissertation​

  1. Hong Kong: Study One (7:35, Hong Kong) – Visual and aural environment of Hong Kong taken from the continuum between the human masses to the non-living elements of the life-world.
  2. Study Two: Young Filipino-Hongkongers (13:49, Hong Kong) – Portrays the subjectivities of young Filipino-Hongkongers in two parts namely, direct cinema coverage and shots from interviews on their aspirations.
  3. Study Three: Floating Notes (13:15, Japan) – Interplays simultaneous interjections of titles, still photographs and asynchronous sound - all drawn from empirical perceptual experience - to cinematically render the modern condition.
  4. Study Four: Resilient Textures (20:15, Vietnam) – Contemplation on the shared patterns and textures between nature and spiritually inspired art.
  5. Study Five: 雨 (Rain) (14:01, Hong Kong) – A cinematic meditation on rain, this piece poignantly follows the arrival, presence, departure and aftermath of a storm in the city. Inspired by Regen (Joris Ivens, 1929)
  6. Study Six: Return Home (14:00, Indonesia & Hong Kong) – Quotidian travel footage interweaving with still shots outside the main route complicate the rational concept of final destination.
  7. Study Seven: The Street (7:12, Hong Kong) – Simultaneously playing multiple screens highlight the cinematic medium's affinity with movement and, as seen in this panoramic mosaic form, the flow of life.
  8. Study Eight: Intercity (12:16, Mainland China & USA) – Alternating shots taken from two cities thousands of miles apart and sequenced from the mundane to the transcendent invoke a trance-like unpacking of the essence of city life.
  9. Study Nine: Yard Life (6:00, USA) – The wind, which is invisible but cinematic, invokes the animated life-world without having to show humans and animals - only their artefacts, which also 'breathe life'.
  10. Study Ten: Under the Bridge (9:04, USA) – With an evocative piece by Beethoven in the background, this cinematic experience of meaningful formations in nature fosters insight on the ever-expansive life-world in which conceptual rationality is only one of the many elements.


  1. Exhibition of Life-world Series (dir. Joni Gutierrez, 2017, 118 minutes), a collection of ten short films, as a multi-screen video installation at the ASEANnale held in the Philippines on 28 February to 2 March 2018.
  2. Seminar titled “Investigating Kracauerian Cinematic Realism through Film Practice and Criticism: Life-world Series (2017) and Selected Films of Lino Brocka” held on 28 November 2017 at Albert Hall, University of the Philippines-Diliman.
  3. Film screening and seminar titled “Lifeworld Series (Joni Gutierrez, 117 minutes) & the Phenomenalist-realist Film” held on 7 April 2017 at the Communication and Visual Arts Building, Hong Kong Baptist 
University, Hong Kong SAR, China.
  4. Film screening and seminar titled “Investigating Kracauerian Cinematic Realism through Life-world Series (Joni Gutierrez, 2017)” held on 5 October 2017 at the Film Center (Videotheque), University of the Philippines Film Institute (UPFI), Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines.