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|Index||13 reviews in total|
I've read about this series elsewhere and was always curious to see it.
Thanks to an internet movie rental chain I've now seen 7 Up and 7 + 7,
and the rest of the series is queued up and ready to ship. I can't
Viewers who are not used to the various English accents will likely be struggling to understand what some of the kids are saying in the first movie, 7 Up, but it's a short film, and deserves repeated viewing. My vague memories of previous reviews of this series suggest that this may be the most lighthearted of the series. While it is fascinating for many reasons, it is also vastly enjoyable just for the experience of the 7 year-olds' high spirits and humor.
It's jarring when you get your first look at 7 + 7, which revisits most of the kids 7 years later. Their individuality, only hinted at in the first movie, is obvious in these now-14 year-olds. As a parent I feel that familiar combination of the sadness at the loss of the child and anticipation of the future adult. Here we run through this in a matter of minutes.
As it stands now, the series goes as far as 42 Up, somehow turning these frolicking little kids into my peers in the space of a few hours. (I've always been a sucker for special effects.) This series is unlike anything that came before it, and while a quick scan of titles suggests that it's been imitated since, I'm waiting to see what happens to this particular group.
49 up was screened here i two episodes. Recent meetings with the
participants were interwoven with flashbacks from the earlier
interviews at ages 7, 14, 21, 28, 35 and 42. So beautifully put
together. No sensationalism. No hopping about. Each interview subject
was able to unfurl their lives in a steady pace that kept me enthralled
It's a breathtaking idea that grew out of an interest in finding out what happened to the original group after another 7 years when the children had become 14. The producers have kept in touch and most of the subjects have been more or less willing to be interviewed in the subsequent years.
This series of interviews, especially seen in the light of the fact that I am nearly as old as the people involved in this project, gave me so much. Seeing people live their lives, suffering set-backs, dealing with life's many stumbling blocks, gaining unexpected insights into themselves and their loved ones makes for a very gripping and fulfilling experience.
Absolutely marvelous. A gem.
I first saw this about five years ago, and I couldn't wait to see the 7+7,
14, 21, 28 and 35, and am eagerly awaiting 42 up.
It gets you in, it will make you want to know how these kids will turn
I'm a lucky one, who didn't have to wait seven years for each of these
episodes to come out.
If you have any interest in human behaviour, whether it be in kids or adults; if you wonder if what you thought you would be at seven, or fourteen is actually what you turn out to be; then you should watch this, and the rest of the series.
"Seven Up!" is the forty minute documentary from 1964 that stands as a prologue for the most forward thinking documentary series of all-time. The film brings together a group of surprisingly articulate seven-year-olds from a variety of backgrounds in England. Through a number of questions posed to each of the children, the audience gets the opportunity to get to know the world through these children's eyes, and often presumably through the parent's eyes and therefore only quoted through these children. Personalities more than perspectives ring through the strongest in this first film, and the glimpse at the education system circa 1964 is intriguing. Unfortunately, as "characters" that will ultimately be seen for another forty years to come, the thick accents of some of them make for a rough start. All in all this is important cinema regardless.
Michael Apted must be congratulated for having (or perhaps stumbling
upon) the vision for this study. Take 14 seven year olds in England,
film them in a few interesting situations, and follow those same kids
as they grow up. Every seven years. Because all of our lives transpire
at roughly the same rates, we cannot actually observe children growing
up. But this filmed approach is the next best thing.
This first film is rather short, and in black and white plays about like an amateur home movie. We still get to see and hear these children, their opinions, their likes and dislikes, their ambitions. And, while it is interesting, you can get the same thing at any elementary school playground. What is really interesting, and groundbreaking, is the following these children as they grow up.
For that, one must see the next installments. The best way, for the uninitiated, is the 5-disk DVD set just out, which has all 6 films up through "42 UP" in 1998. ("49 UP" has been made but is not yet available on DVD.) However, simply seeing the most recent film is pretty good, because each film contains snippets of each of the former ones, allowing us to see how each child developed in 7-year increments.
Just a marvelous study of growing up.
This is a series that should be watched by everybody. It is remarkable to see the kids grow, and deal with life like everyone has to. As far as documentaries go, this series should be awarded a special Academy Award because it is one of the best ever made.
I was interested to hear an interview with Michael Apted. I learned that the children selected at age 7 were those who were articulate and able to communicate clearly. The heads of various schools were asked to select their brightest and best for the project. As a social commentary, it is very interesting to see how they have developed over the years. Also, the various opinions and levels of participation from those around them, for example wives and husbands. By their very participation and reflection during the filming the participants have been altered. Clearly one participant felt quite misrepresented and wanted to set the record straight. In that sense, the film makers are not passive observers and some bias is inevitable. Despite this, it is a convincing personal commentary on more than 4 decades of British life.
In 1964 Michael Apted filmed a documentary on a couple of seven year
olds for a British television studio from various backgrounds. The idea
was to see what the generation heading into the next millennium looked
like at that early age, what their hopes were, their dreams, their
aspirations. It was an interesting snap-shot for sure back in these
days, but then again, who knew what would really become of those kids?
Well, someone clever got the idea to revisit them at age 14 - and thus
made another documentary. Seven years later they did it again, and more
and more things began to shape and what at this time could be seen as
an experiment became really extraordinarily interesting.
So it went on, a documentary on the lives of people like you and me. Today, a couple of dozen years later, we've got several more installments and have gained insight on what has really become of those children of the sixties. The series as a whole is simply the most outstanding reality documentary ever filmed, it's all about life as close as it can get, and the feat is impossible to copy. There are twists and turns in the lives that we are allowed to follow, sometimes of course also influenced by the fact that they are shown on screen, in a positive or a negative way. However, in general we get a good portion of real life experience handed out via the Seven Up! series in a way we never are able to experience otherwise, apart from our own lives. Groundbreaking indeed, must see.
The 'Up Series' represents one of the most fascinating and unusual uses
of film in cinema history - a documentary life-long chronicle of the
lives of 14 people starting at 7 years old, revisiting them every seven
years through age 49 (so far).
While I could quibble, wishing for a bit more depth here and there (especially with the women, where there's a bit too much emphasis on love and marriage at the expense of all else), it's really an astounding, moving, frightening and uplifting document. There's no way to watch this remarkable series of films without reflecting deeply on one's own life, and how you have changed (and stayed the same) over your own lifetime.
While Michael Aped deserves every bit of credit he's received for this amazing piece of cultural anthropology, it's important to note this first film, 7 Up,was actually directed by Paul Almond, and Apted was a that point a researcher for the project.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
One of the most fascinating films that I have ever witnessed. It is so interesting to see children of 7 grow up right before your eyes. After watching the 42UP,I feel as if I know most of these people. I found most of the subjects very likable,with the exception of the snooty John. He is one of those type of guys that you just yearn to slap the snug smirk off of his face..lol. If you haven't seen this...make this a must-see on your list of films. Especially on your list of documentaries to watch. A great idea,great film and a great cross-section of British society. I was totally engrossed from the first minute to the last. I hope they keep making these as long as the participants are alive. Very interesting to see how much some change,yet some stay the same. My favorite individual was Neil..the homeless wanderer. Although he is beset by mental problems,he is super intelligent and ya get the feeling that of all the people profiled..he just may be the smartest of all. I can relate to Neil.
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