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49 Up... 56 Up...


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If we have a thread on this series already, forgive me, but somebody really should have put searchable words in there (i.e. words longer than 2 letters, words like "director Michael Apted").

Anyway, my first impressions.

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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If we have a thread on this series already, forgive me, but somebody really should have put searchable words in there (i.e. words longer than 2 letters, words like "director Michael Apted").

Anyway, my first impressions.

I've seen them all so far - looking forward to the latest. I haven't read your impressions yet...want to keep it fresh.

Sara Zarr

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sarazarr.com

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28 UP often shows up in my top 20 movies of all time. Really affected me. I've enjoyed the subsequent installments, but feel like 28 UP was the most artistically interesting, though that may also be because it was my first exposure to the series.

My CT Movies review is here.

I've posted a couple hundred of my Soul Food Movies write-ups at letterboxd

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I have a short review of this installment out there somewhere, but in the main am on board with your comments.

PTC, you said: "The biggest change between 28 Up and 49 Up, it seems to me, is that the series may have lost some of its political impact, though in some sense it may still be politically significant."

I can understand where you are coming from, but some of the movement of these 49 year olds away from the class expectations that haunted them through the first two or even three episodes may have an impact in confirming shifts in British social structure. Tony, the cab driver with a place in Spain, is as you say significant as an artifact of this new society. But part of the continuing impact of the series is that as he and others grow older (and more conservative in practice), Apted's use of images from past installments juxtapose more sharply with the present. Apted's editing in this installment was fantastic, IIRC, almost Godardian in its potential political impact.

Having actually caught this on the BBC (or was it ITV now) rather than in a theatre or on a DVD had a significant impact on my American understanding of what television is all about. It was invigorating to think of all the people watching 49 Up at prime time, a brilliant catalyst for scrolling through the similar seasons of their own lives. The abiding impact of 49 Up will reside in its unprecedented, almost Proustian, scope.

Edited by MLeary

"...the vivid crossing of borders between film and theology may save the film from the banality of cinema and festival business, and it may also save the church from the deep sleep of the habitual and the always known."

(Hans Werner Dannowski)

Filmwell | Twitter

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  • 3 months later...

I've now made it up through 35. I find the series interesting on various levels. There is the personal relationship that we tend to make with these people, whether it is someone we may think of as snobbish or cuddly. Seeing them move through various stages in life - school, job, parenthood, divorce. There is one segment (Neil) that is painful to watch (at least in 28 and 35). I look forward to the next couple.

A foreign movie can't be stupid.

-from the film
Armin

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  • 6 months later...

I've now finished the series (and I think it's ready to be finished -- I don't think 56 Up would be very useful).

Neil still fascinates me. Some interesting mental issues, but gets elected at low level political offices - and he's the one they show involved in church and reflects a bit of spiritual life. Jackie's critique of the project and the difference between who the people are and how they've been portrayed was interesting in 49 as well.

Perhaps rather than 56 Up, they should revisit 7 Up in a multicultural England and restart the process. 7 UP II.

A foreign movie can't be stupid.

-from the film
Armin

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  • 2 years later...
Link to the second thread on this series.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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  • 11 months later...

Meet the Montreal director behind the documentary ‘7 Up’

Fans of the Up series – which documents the lives of a group of Britons every seven years – tend to associate the critically acclaimed films with British director Michael Apted. But the first entry in the series, 7 Up, was directed by Montreal filmmaker Paul Almond.

Now almost 80, Almond has retired from filmmaking. And subsequent sequels and box sets of the films don’t mention his involvement. But he still feels a close association with the project he kick-started in the early 1960s, when he and Australian producer Tim Hewat decided that interviewing a group of seven-year-olds would reflect something about Britain’s obsession with class distinctions. This week, he’ll introduce a special screening of the first film in Montreal.

The Globe spoke to Almond – now living in Malibu, Calif., and writing fiction – about making the landmark series, keeping in touch with those “kids” (now in their 50s) and which subjects he still can’t forget. . . .

[Almond:] I would never for a second criticize the absolutely monumental work that Mike Apted has done, but he is British, and that means he has a different sense of class than I have. When he was working on the film as an assistant, he had different perceptions and looked at it all quite differently. I, being Canadian, think of everyone as being the same, and I can observe differences with charity and even affection. Coming from a particular strata of British society – and I don't claim to know what strata that is – he’s very clearly embedded, that gives him a different take. . . .

Globe and Mail, November 17

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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  • 1 year later...

Michael Apted's '56 Up' eyes theatrical run

First Run Features has set a theatrical run for Michael Apted's "56 Up," the eighth of the "Up" series, starting with a Jan. 4 opening at New York's IFC Center. . . .

"Like a family, we've had our good times, our disagreements, but now, all but one of the participants are back for '56 Up,'" Apted said. "I never know how each new film will turn out, except that it'll be quite different from the last. '21 Up' was full of hope, '28' was about children and responsibility, '35' was concerned with mortality when some were losing parents, and '49' had a sense of disappointment with lives maybe not fully achieved. Yet '56' is quite different again, which goes to prove, if nothing else, that our series mirrors life, and is always full of surprises."

Variety, October 2

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Michael Apted's '56 Up' eyes theatrical run

First Run Features has set a theatrical run for Michael Apted's "56 Up," the eighth of the "Up" series, starting with a Jan. 4 opening at New York's IFC Center. . . .

"Like a family, we've had our good times, our disagreements, but now, all but one of the participants are back for '56 Up,'" Apted said. "I never know how each new film will turn out, except that it'll be quite different from the last. '21 Up' was full of hope, '28' was about children and responsibility, '35' was concerned with mortality when some were losing parents, and '49' had a sense of disappointment with lives maybe not fully achieved. Yet '56' is quite different again, which goes to prove, if nothing else, that our series mirrors life, and is always full of surprises."

Variety, October 2

This theatrical run news is so great to hear. These films have been very special to me, as they are always a decade ahead of my own life and I've been watching them since my early 20s. An incredible cinematic endeavor thus far -- can't wait to see 56up.

In eternity this world will be Troy, I believe, and all that has passed here will be the epic of the universe, the ballad they sing in the streets. -- Gilead, by Marilynne Robinson

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Michael Apted's '56 Up' eyes theatrical run

First Run Features has set a theatrical run for Michael Apted's "56 Up," the eighth of the "Up" series, starting with a Jan. 4 opening at New York's IFC Center. . . .

Opening one week before I turn 56. Saw 28 Up when I was 28. Kind of cool.

I've posted a couple hundred of my Soul Food Movies write-ups at letterboxd

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Ron! Long time, etc...

Fascinating to have a film series that makes me feel old. Can't imagine the depth of Apted's emotion relative to the participants. I click play on every one of these with great trepidation.

"...the vivid crossing of borders between film and theology may save the film from the banality of cinema and festival business, and it may also save the church from the deep sleep of the habitual and the always known."

(Hans Werner Dannowski)

Filmwell | Twitter

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Hmmm. I just realized that I'm 42 now, which makes me the same age that the interviewees were two films ago. I've only seen 28 Up (which I saw when I was a teenager) and 49 Up (as per the blog post linked above), so perhaps I should make a point of seeing the movie that matches my current age...

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Actually, I'd love to see a reboot. Wonder how different the 7 year olds would be from 49 years ago.

Not sure if this is what you meant by a reboot, but I was wondering if anyone here has been following the Up in America series that was started by director Phil Joanou (State of Grace) in 1991. The original film (Age 7 in America) was shot in 1990. 21 Up in America came out in 2006, so I assume that interviews and updates for 28 Up in America happened last year. I only saw the first one, which had kind of a big publicity push around the time of its premiere, but the second two didn't seem to receive the same fanfare. Also, Joanou dropped out of the project after 14 Up in America. 21 was filmed by Christopher Dillon Quinn.

Edited by Baal_T'shuvah

Formerly Baal_T'shuvah

"Everyone has the right to make an ass out of themselves. You just can't let the world judge you too much." - Maude 
Harold and Maude
 

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The Wikipedia entry on this series has a list of similar documentaries from around the world. The only films on that list that I've seen are Talk 16 (Canada, 1991), which only had one follow-up a couple years later, and Gillian Armstrong's Not Fourteen Again (Australia, 1996), which is the fourth of an apparently six-movies-so-far series.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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  • 1 month later...

Watched a screener of 56 today. (nanner, nanner, nanner). Nice visit with old friends.

Interesting quote from Neil, who is a licensed minister: "[The church is] not the place someone who wants to change society is best employed. I'd have thought that's pretty obvious."

A foreign movie can't be stupid.

-from the film
Armin

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FWIW, this film comes to Vancouver on Friday. If anyone in the area is free on the 8th or 13th (the only screenings for which I'm even remotely free this week), let me know; I can get myself plus a guest in for free.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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FWIW, this film comes to Vancouver on Friday. If anyone in the area is free on the 8th or 13th (the only screenings for which I'm even remotely free this week), let me know; I can get myself plus a guest in for free.

Gah! It had to be finals week!

I've watched up to 49 and I have to say that I find Neil to be tragic and fascinating. I can only imagine how hard it must be to be haunted and hounded by the adorable 7 year old version of yourself.

Along with Neil, Nick (small town kid to University Prof) and Tony (scrappy little guy turned decently successful despite the creators thinking he's be dead quickly) are the most fascinating. I am eager to see where they are "now."

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Man, the Vancouver representation on this board is skyrocketing. Have you always hailed from here, Scholar?

I'd go with you Peter, if I'd seen more than just the first couple of shorter ones. I don't have time between now and then to catch up.

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Man, the Vancouver representation on this board is skyrocketing. Have you always hailed from here, Scholar?

I'd go with you Peter, if I'd seen more than just the first couple of shorter ones. I don't have time between now and then to catch up.

No, I just started @ Regent this semester. Originally from Kansas. It's been interesting to slowly notice everyone who is up here, though.

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