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cindyluvs24

The Up Series

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cindyluvs24

Michael Apted (before he became THE Michael Apted who directed Coal Miners Daughter, Tomorrow Never Dies, etc)  was fresh out of college in 1964 and filmed a group of English seven year olds from different backgrounds.  He went back every seven years to see what they were up to.  I had seen the 7 and 14 yr old versions but my library had the boxed set - all the way up to age 56 !!    I spent last weekend binge-watching.   The next installment is due in 2020 or thereabouts.

 

 

Edited by cindyluvs24

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Nervous
meep

I'm American so I didn't know about this whole thing until a couple of years ago.  I watched the last two and I find it absolutely fascinating. It must be a sociologists dream! I'm so glad he did this project. Very sad one of them has since died though. It's very uplifting considering they all went in such different directions in life but now looking back, all of them seem quite happy with how their life has progressed. 

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Palimpsest

Ah, the Up series.  They are my contemporaries and I've followed along since I had to watch the first two programs when I was doing my teacher certification.  They feel like old friends and it was so sad when Lynn died.

It's more like early Reality TV than it is sociology.  It has been strongly criticized for not being a sociologists dream.  The sampling was ridiculous, they just snowballed rather than getting a representative mix, and there were far more boys than girls.  Apted admitted that they assumed the girls would be boring because they would just grow up to be wives and mothers.  He has said he wished they could have got a more representative sample.  

There was also a clear bias and political agenda.  Rich Suzy being interviewed at 7 while her dog kills a rabbit, and John (the arrogant toff) filmed fox hunting, while the East End kids are patronized and underestimated every step of the way.  I think it was Jackie that finally gave Apted a metaphorical punch in the nose over that.

In the later episodes they also talk about the effect the filming has had on them, because they did not exactly give consent to the first episodes when they were minors.  Some of them have dropped in and out of the series, and some have developed their own agendas and use the show as a platform.  It is really fascinating.

Interesting article:  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/9252045/56-Up-Michael-Apteds-seven-year-itch.html

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morri
On 06/10/2016 at 3:34 AM, cindyluvs24 said:

Michael Apted (before he became THE Michael Apted who directed Coal Miners Daughter, Tomorrow Never Dies, etc)  was fresh out of college in 1964 and filmed a group of English seven year olds from different backgrounds.  He went back every seven years to see what they were up to.  I had seen the 7 and 14 yr old versions but my library had the boxed set - all the way up to age 56 !!    I spent last weekend binge-watching.   The next installment is due in 2020 or thereabouts.

 

 

there are some other similar series, another favourite is the "child of our time series" which looks at children born in 1999/2000 so the kids are all 16/17 now.

 

the other one is a german one that started in the 1960s in east germany in a village. still running. also interesting because it deals with how the people dealt wth the fall of thewall and desolving of their country.

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AliceInFundyland

I’m bumping this because I have been revisiting it in anticpation of the new one coming next year. (You can see it via a free trial of the britbox channel on Amazon).

It is interesting on so many levels. Apted did have lots of initial bias and made big mistakes as a documentarian. But he has admitted to a lot of that prejudice which is - how one evolves. It’s an imperfect experiment.

Many of his fiction movies are quite good. 

The subjects themselves are interesting. I think the majority of them sticking it out, despite wavering feelings, is telling. 

He clearly has a rapport with the group. I think that is another part of what keeps it going.

There’s nothing quite like this, which is why it belongs in documentary cinema history.

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