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Sunday, April 29, 2007

the Up films

"Give me a child until he is seven and I will give you the man." —Jesuit maxim

In 1964, Granada Television made a short feature that was to be the beginning of a most extraordinary documentary series. Fourteen seven-year-old children from diverse backgrounds in England were interviewed to explore the idea that personality and future outcome could be, as suggested by the maxim, determined by age seven. Although this was originally envisioned as a one-time venture, director Michael Apted went back every seven years to re-interview the same subjects. The result, a collection of seven films so far (Seven Up, 7 Plus Seven, 21 Up, 28 Up, 35 Up, 42 Up and 49 Up) is, in my opinion, one of the finest examples of the power of documentary filmmaking ever. Each of these seven films has profoundly moved me, and each one has made me exclaim, "This is why I love documentaries." Do yourself a favour and watch them if you can. You won't be disappointed.

My only complaint? Having to wait until 2013 for the next instalment!


Anonymous krissa said...

I think I saw this! Well, I think I saw a show about it...probably something like "60 Minutes". It is SO interesting! I've heard that it is even much younger when our personalities are formed, but I think it wouldn't be before age 7, if not older. Very interesting post!

April 30, 2007 7:17 a.m.

Blogger Bogdan, the editor said...

Ooooo. Interesting. I've Netflixed the movies! I've moved them close to the top of my list... I just need to finish all the "Scrubs" sitcom DVDs first. (What can I say? I'm currently in love with Zach Braff... just DON'T ask me to explain why.)


P.S. Sara left her "room" on her own yesterday!! The hotel staff even called to tell me! :)

April 30, 2007 2:59 p.m.

Blogger KJ's muse said...

Thanks Krissa. Yeah, if personalities develop so early, you wonder how much influence "nurture" (as opposed to "nature") actually has!

Hmmm, didn't Zach Braff write, direct and star in a movie called Garden State? It was very good! Um, if you're going to watch all of the Up films, there WILL be repetition, but I still think it's worth catching every one of them. And of course you don't notice the repetition so much when only watching once every seven years. ;)

That's good news about Sara! :)

May 01, 2007 6:24 p.m.

Blogger Dakota said...

I’ve seen the documentary series and they are moving and fascinating at the same time. I love them :)

May 02, 2007 8:33 a.m.

Blogger KJ's muse said...

They ARE fascinating, aren't they?

Will Suzy really drop out? Will Peter or Charles ever consider coming back to the fold? How will Neil (whom I, sadly in some ways, identify with the most) make out? As they get older what will happen when the first death occurs?

All these questions and more rolled through my mind as I finished watching 49 Up last weekend, but of course we'll have to wait another seven years!

May 02, 2007 8:35 p.m.


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