Sunday, May 25, 2008


ABOUT: The Up Series consists of a series of documentary films that have followed the lives of fourteen British children since 1964, when they were seven years old. The children were selected to represent the range of socio-economic backgrounds in Britain at that time, with the explicit assumption that each child's social class predetermines their future. Every seven years, the director, Michael Apted, films new material from as many of the fourteen as he can get to participate. The latest film, 49 Up, was released in September 2005; filming for the next installment in the series, 56 Up, is expected in late 2011 or early 2012.

The first film in the series, Seven Up!, was directed by Paul Almond, and commissioned by Granada Television as a programme in the World in Action series broadcast in 1964. At the time there was no plan for them to return in seven years time; the second film was made almost as an afterthought, but the pattern of the series was established. From 7 plus Seven onwards the films have been directed by Michael Apted, who had been a researcher on Seven Up! and chose the original children with Gordon McDougall. The premise of the film was taken from the Jesuit motto "Give me a child until he is seven and I will give you the man," which is based on a quote by Francis Xavier. The 1998 programme was commissioned by BBC One, although still produced for them by Granada.

MY REVIEW: I have been meaning to watch the Up Series for the longest time and now I am getting around to it. I just had to find the right amount of free time to watch a documentary series that follows the lives of a bunch of people every 7 years. I am going to review each film instead of the whole series so far because the series isn't finished yet and I haven't watched most of the other ones anyway.

Seven Up! pretty much plays like an episode of Kids Say The Darndest Things. It's only half an hour long and whats more entertaining than a bunch of kids talking about girls and what they want to be when they grow up. I work in child care so I am around kids all day and let me tell you, kids will say things that you won't believe would ever come out of a 7 year olds mouth.

Seven Up! wasn't great but it was short and sweet. I'm guessing that the series will become more interesting more and more after each film as all these kids grow up. They will have to face life as an adult someday and thats when it will get interesting. I also suspect that when they start to become old that it will get less interesting and we will end up watching them stand in the grocery store checkout line for 15 min. counting all their coupons.

MY CHEESY RATING: Seven Up! isn't a seven, but it's close. 6 out of 10


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