Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Up Series

"Give me the child until he is 7, and I will show you the man."

The Up Series by Michael Apted is quite possibly the greatest achievement in the history of film. I'm super serial. This documentary series started back in 1964 and interviewed a group of 7 year olds from the lower and upper classes of Britain, asking them all sorts of questions regarding their beliefs, dreams, likes, dislikes, etc. The film then revisits this group every seven years asking them the same questions and seeing what's new in their lives. In the most recent film, released in 2005, the subjects are now 49 years old.

The series is as thought-provoking as it is entertaining. It's a little scary how you can sometimes guess someones destiny based on a single interview at the age of 7. But as much as you learn about all these people I guarantee you'll learn a little more about yourself as well. You'll end up reexamining your own values, and mortality (which is pretty cool if you're into that sorta thing).

I found myself most similar to Tony. At the age of 7 Tony dreamed of being a jockey. By 14 he was training to realize this dream. Was Tony able to fulfill his life long goal by age 21? Kinda. What happened during his controversial interview at age 35 is something I could see myself going through at that age.

If you have a Netflix account and time to kill I really do recommend this documentary series. If you don't have Netflix then I'd be more than happy to lend you my copies. Roger Ebert included this series on his list of the 10 greatest films of ALL TIME so that's gotta mean something. Honestly, the only thing that sucks about watching these documentaries is having to wait till 2012 for the latest installment, 56 Up.

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