An ode to the present moment capturing snippets of city life and visions of escape. “Observations of the Amazing World Around Us,” directed by Lee Phillips, explores what it means to construct our lives as a series of memories. A narrator poetically aims to reject this mode of living, instead hoping to lock into the everlasting now — physical sensations (“What’s it feel like to be in water?”), sounds, moods, etc. Raw and real (“beyond judgement”), Phillips captures moments that might be impossible to capture if not for the intimacy between her subjects, and the immediacy of shooting on an iPhone. Friends on a car trip, laughing; a man kissing his dog while doing push-ups; a woman on a bed tells the story of being scammed out of $1,000. With its in-the-moment discoveries, the film creates a vivid impression, both sentimental and blunt. -KA. Written and Directed by Lee Phillips. Edited by Caroline Fortuna. Title Graphic by Parker Shatkin. Music by Sara Phillips.