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Michael Apted's Up Series


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Hello there!

I have just finished watching the whole Up series. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Up_series

There is apparently no thread on these films, so i figured i start one!

Some ideas:

- I watched the whole series over a weekend (!) and while I appreciated the films, I'm kind of sorry I didn't watch them with a longer time between each.

I agree the series is a great experiment, but I can't help to notice the progressively growing self-awareness of the films and the protagonists which, to me, gets in the way of telling the story of these people (one could say it becomes part of the story). Pretty soon in the series, esp. 49up, I feel it has become a film ABOUT making the Up films. I would suggest the narrative qualities of the films never make it quite to the foreground and I found that somewhat disappointing, considering the great dramatic potential of filming individuals on such a large time span.

That is not to say I didn't enjoy the Up series!

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I've always wanted to tackle these films but it's hard to know how to jump right in.

In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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Since this is one of my favorites as well, I knew we'd had a thread on it--and here it is. I don't blame "etienne" for not finding it, though--the search function is iffy at best and won't find anything if the term is under 3 or 4 letters. I put in the director's name "Apted" and the thread turned up several lines down a list of posts about the forthcoming Narnia film.

Anyway, both of you will probably find more to discuss and advice on "how to jump right in" in the original thread.

There is this difference between the growth of some human beings and that of others: in the one case it is a continuous dying, in the other a continuous resurrection. (George MacDonald, The Princess and Curdie)

Isn't narrative structure enough of an ideology for art? (Greg Wright)

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Since this is one of my favorites as well, I knew we'd had a thread on it--and here it is. I don't blame "etienne" for not finding it, though--the search function is iffy at best and won't find anything if the term is under 3 or 4 letters. I put in the director's name "Apted" and the thread turned up several lines down a list of posts about the forthcoming Narnia film.

Anyway, both of you will probably find more to discuss and advice on "how to jump right in" in the original thread.

Heh, yer suppoesdasay "AHEM!" :)

Edited by Persona

In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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I've always wanted to tackle these films but it's hard to know how to jump right in.

Start at the beginning! I have only been able to catch them randomly on TV and on the odd DVD (thanks to Netflix queue timing). I can't imagine what it would be like to start at the beginning and actually watch all of these years unfold without knowing about later events in these people's lives.

"...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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I've always wanted to tackle these films but it's hard to know how to jump right in.

Start at the beginning! I have only been able to catch them randomly on TV and on the odd DVD (thanks to Netflix queue timing). I can't imagine what it would be like to start at the beginning and actually watch all of these years unfold without knowing about later events in these people's lives.

Intermittent Netflix viewing, starting at the beginning was my route as well. Ron Reed posted a link to his great retrospective review.

There is this difference between the growth of some human beings and that of others: in the one case it is a continuous dying, in the other a continuous resurrection. (George MacDonald, The Princess and Curdie)

Isn't narrative structure enough of an ideology for art? (Greg Wright)

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Persona wrote:

: Heh, yer suppoesdasay "AHEM!" :)

Indeed. Though if someone wanted to designate that the 49 Up-specific thread, and leave this thread to its predecessors, that might work. (Then again, the films do overlap quite a bit.)

"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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  • 10 years later...

My review of 63 UP (theatrical cut): https://1morefilmblog.com/2019/12/02/63-up-apted-2019/

The skinny: It's good, and if this is the end, it's a fitting end. (It deals with the death of one participant for the first time.) That said, there's bloat and nobody says much profound or new. I don't think people change as much between 56 and 63 as they do between 7 and 14. The episodic structure probably will work better on television (if you have Britbox subscription). Mild thumb's up just for sticking with it all these years. 

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