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The Up Series (1998)

Director: Michael Apted, Michael Apted
    see all cast/crew...
Rating: Not Rated
Studio: First Run Features
Genre: Documentary, Foreign, Biographies, UK, Political & Social Issues
Languages: English

Synopses
The Up Series: 42 Up (1998)
In 1964, England's Granada Television produced a documentary called 7 Up, in which 14 seven-year-old British children from a wide variety of social and economic backgrounds were interviewed about their ideas and opinions on the adult world. In 1971, director Michael Apted tracked down the same youngsters for a follow-up, 7 Plus 7. Since then, Apted has revisited his subjects every seven years in a series of remarkable films that allow us to watch these children grow into adults before our eyes. In the sixth film in the series, we visit eleven of the now middle-aged kids (three have chosen not to participate), as they settle contentedly (for the most part) into mid-life and contend with the growing maturity of their own children and, in some cases, the infirmity and death of their parents. Tony, who once dreamed of being a jockey, now drives a cab, does a bit of television acting, and admits to being unfaithful to his wife. Suzy, who at 21 was bitter and cynical with no intention of having kids, is now a happy mother who works part-time as a bereavement councilor. Neil, who has struggled through years of mental illness, poverty, and homelessness, was elected as a Liberal Democratic representative to the Hackney council in London and seems to have found stability. Paul, who was raised by divorced parents and suffered from poor self-esteem as a child, now has a fine home in Australia and has been happily married for 23 years. And Simon, a West Indian immigrant raised in a children's home, is happy, middle-class, and raising a four-year-old of his own. Ironically, Apted's latest installment in this compelling but low-key ongoing project was set for international release within months of the highest-profile film of his career, the James Bond adventure The World Is Not Enough. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

The Up Series: Seven Up & 7 Plus Seven (1964/1970)
While working on the BBC television documentary series The World in Action in 1963, director Michael Apted, in collaboration with Paul Almond, produced a feature-length study of 14 seven-year-old Britons. Titled Seven Up, the film drew its on-camera personnel from every part of the social strata. Apted and Almond invited the kids to expound extemporaneously upon their feelings, desires and aspirations. Seven years later, the same 14 people were rounded up for 7 Plus Seven, which brought their individual histories up to date. And so it went until 1991, with Apted, now working solo, updating his original 1963 documentary every seven years. In 1984, all existing chapters were bundled together into the British miniseries 28 Up. By far the best of the updates, as well as the most optimistic, 28 Up was later boiled down to a 113-minute feature film. In both its series and featurized form, 28 Up is a fascinating social document; those who like cushioning themselves against disillusionment, however, are advised to bypass 35 Up (1991), wherein the 14 middle-aged subjects are a lot more fearful about their future than they'd ever been before. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

The Up Series: 21 Up (1977)
While working on the BBC television documentary series The World in Action in 1963, director Michael Apted, in collaboration with Paul Almond, produced a feature-length study of 14 seven-year-old Britons. Titled Seven Up, the film drew its on-camera personnel from every part of the social strata. Apted and Almond invited the kids to expound extemporaneously upon their feelings, desires and aspirations. Seven years later, the same 14 people were rounded up for 7 Plus Seven, which brought their individual histories up to date. And so it went until 1991, with Apted, now working solo, updating his original 1963 documentary every seven years. In 1984, all existing chapters were bundled together into the British miniseries 28 Up. By far the best of the updates, as well as the most optimistic, 28 Up was later boiled down to a 113-minute feature film. In both its series and featurized form, 28 Up is a fascinating social document; those who like cushioning themselves against disillusionment, however, are advised to bypass 35 Up (1991), wherein the 14 middle-aged subjects are a lot more fearful about their future than they'd ever been before. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

The Up Series: 28 Up (1985)
While working on the BBC television documentary series The World in Action in 1963, director Michael Apted, in collaboration with Paul Almond, produced a feature-length study of 14 seven-year-old Britons. Titled Seven Up, the film drew its on-camera personnel from every part of the social strata. Apted and Almond invited the kids to expound extemporaneously upon their feelings, desires and aspirations. Seven years later, the same 14 people were rounded up for 7 Plus Seven, which brought their individual histories up to date. And so it went until 1991, with Apted, now working solo, updating his original 1963 documentary every seven years. In 1984, all existing chapters were bundled together into the British miniseries 28 Up. By far the best of the updates, as well as the most optimistic, 28 Up was later boiled down to a 113-minute feature film. In both its series and featurized form, 28 Up is a fascinating social document; those who like cushioning themselves against disillusionment, however, are advised to bypass 35 Up (1991), wherein the 14 middle-aged subjects are a lot more fearful about their future than they'd ever been before. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

The Up Series: 35 Up (1991)
While working on the BBC television documentary series The World in Action in 1963, director Michael Apted, in collaboration with Paul Almond, produced a feature-length study of 14 seven-year-old Britons. Titled Seven Up, the film drew its on-camera personnel from every part of the social strata. Apted and Almond invited the kids to expound extemporaneously upon their feelings, desires and aspirations. Seven years later, the same 14 people were rounded up for 7 Plus Seven, which brought their individual histories up to date. And so it went until 1991, with Apted, now working solo, updating his original 1963 documentary every seven years. In 1984, all existing chapters were bundled together into the British miniseries 28 Up. By far the best of the updates, as well as the most optimistic, 28 Up was later boiled down to a 113-minute feature film. In both its series and featurized form, 28 Up is a fascinating social document; those who like cushioning themselves against disillusionment, however, are advised to bypass 35 Up (1991), wherein the 14 middle-aged subjects are a lot more fearful about their future than they'd ever been before. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Ratings

The Up Series: 42 Up (1998)
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7.70 (87 votes)
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The Up Series: Seven Up & 7 Plus Seven (1964/1970)
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7.97 (61 votes)
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The Up Series: 21 Up (1977)
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8.12 (56 votes)
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The Up Series: 28 Up (1985)
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8.30 (57 votes)
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The Up Series: 35 Up (1991)
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8.27 (52 votes)
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