Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Rec. #33: The Up Series
What: You know what's really quite scary? Driving in an actual blizzard. I did that today. You know what else is scary, in a very different way? Looking at a seven-year-old boy and thinking, "Ah, yes. You will grow up to be a Bond villain." I did not do that today, but I did it the first time I saw Seven Up, the initial entry in the Up documentary series. In the mid-'60s, the filmmakers interviewed fourteen British children from different socioeconomic backgrounds, and director Michael Apted* films follow-up interviews every seven years. The results are sometimes heartbreaking, occasionally scary, and consistently fascinating. You'll form very strong opinions about these people you've never met. (See if you can spot who I pegged as the Bond villain.)
Representative quote: "Give me a child until he is seven and I will give you the man." (This should tip you off that there's more emphasis on the ten boys than the four girls.)
You might not like it if: You get completely lost in the accents. No closed captioning, either, so it's sink or swim here.
How to get it: Quickly! Catch up before 56 Up comes out (due in 2012). So far, we've had Seven Up, Seven Plus 7, 21 Up, 28 Up, 35 Up, 42 Up, and 49 Up.
*Michael Apted was a researcher on the original film and has directed all subsequent films in the series.