Tuesday, March 13, 2007

49 Up

The concept of these films still blows me away. I can't get over the fact that Apted has come back to film the same people every seven years since 1964. I also can't get over that I haven't actually seen all of them.

The first one I saw was 28 Up. I've seen all of them since. I remember not being that impressed with 42 Up but I really liked this one. Granted, watching a movie like this for two hours and fifteen minutes is easier to do breaking it up into a few segments rather than seeing it in the theater like I did in '99.

It doesn't seem like seven years since the last one. I'd assume it must feel like that for the subjects of these films as well. The older they get, the seven years must seem like they absolutely fly by. And then Apted shows up at their doorstep to film them again.

Even though SHR hadn't seen any of the previous films, she got into this one because Apted does such a good job of showing pertinent clips from previous films. As much as a pain in the ass as it must be for some of the people in the series to be filmed every seven years, I am quite fascinated by what it must be like for them.

Unlike the reality shows of the day, these films don't have such a short shelf life. And the people know that whatever they do in the next seven years will be there on display for everyone to see. How does that impact choices they make in the intervening seven years that aren't being filmed? I wonder if any of them make decisions based on the thought of "This will be interesting to talk about in the next film."

Granted, they don't have to share everything. Some of the people are quite guarded. Some are completely open. All of it is completely fascinating. Even though I hadn't thought about any of these people in seven years, I instantly remembered most of them upon first seeing them on screen again.

Also, it seems like this one looks a hell of a lot better than all of the other ones but maybe that is my imagination.

Directed by Michael Apted


weasel said...

I have been hiding from these films ever since a week-long marathon of 7-, 14-, and 21-Up in sociology class in middle school. Perhaps the time to rediscover them is ripe.

Mondale said...

it's a brilliant series of movies.
I strongly recommend catching up on the earlier ones.