49 Up is the seventh film in a series of landmark documentaries that began 42 years ago when UK-based Granada's World in Action team, inspired by the Jesuit maxim "Give me the child until he is seven and I will give you the man," interviewed a diverse group of seven-year-old children from all over England, asking them about their lives and their dreams for the future. Michael Apted, a researcher for the original film, has returned to interview the "children" every seven years since, at ages 14, 21, 28, 35, 42 and now again at age 49.In this latest chapter, more life-changing decisions are revealed, more shocking announcements made and more of the original group take part than ever before, speaking out on a variety of subjects including love, marriage, career, class and prejudice.
I can't decide whether this or '21 Up' is the best of the bunch. '21 Up' is more intense, certainly. By now Apted's interviewees have come into their own and all of them seem rather satisfied with their lives. The filmmaking is very tight, the clips - covering the usual themes - are cut together with minute precision. Also, there are some worthwhile observations about what sort of an impact the series has made on the participants' lives and their frustrations about being part of the project.
Another home run for this series.
It's weird now rewatching this one. It's like how people were rewatching Breaking Bad to prep for the new season. Now as I get the big revolutions from this one, I know brand new information is right around the corner. It's impossible to make generalizations about the set as a whole because most of this movie is that even through there are some parallels, these are 14 different people. Yet more people here have changed their opinion of the series as a whole. The best part was the confrontation between the subject and the filmmaker on this being an improper representation of her. I have a lot of films I need to catch up on for work before I can watch 56 Up but I'm very very excited.
I forgot to add this one, which I caught up with before seeing 56 Up. It's a perfect bridge between the subtle encroachment of middle age in 42 Up and the acceptance of it in 56 Up. It's the first time that you hear subjects say that they're too old to do something, and they're talking about their lives in the past tense. Some developments--scientist guy's divorce!--were surprising, but all of them had something to do with loss, either of a family member, a job, or a dream. It's probably the most elegiac entry of the series so far.
By now, it's pretty much exactly dropping in on people you know to catch up with them for a few minutes. The director, Michael Apted, is also going for more reflection, so there's a lot of opinions on what has transpired, and some strong ones about the program itself, which makes for very good viewing (especially since all of these blokes have turned out to be pretty smart and articulate).
Best documentary series ever.
There's not much I can say about 49 Up that I haven't already said about its predecessors and successors: they together represent the ultimate truth that the drama of everyday life is just as gripping as the greatest story concocted by the greatest imagination. We don't realise it day to day, but it's easy to see across the course of seven years that our existences are the most poignant cosmic dramas, finely balanced between hope and disappointment, happiness and depression, healthiness and death. This series doesn't just chronicle life; it is life.
"People getting older, fatter, and losing their hair"
The UP SERIES seventh outing continues the great fascination of peoples lives through time jumps of 7 years.
A couple interesting accounts in this film, the participants continue to break the barrier between interviewer/subject and really start to voice the hardships or discomfort of being in this series. And rightly so, no one really wants to be reminded of past mistakes or to be shown how foolish they could have been.
Everyone here seems to be in a comfortable spot of their lives though. Some new beginnings, some adjustments, some closure. Underlining talk of mundane subjects like tile colors really paints the stereotype of people in older age. Kind of funny and charming in the same breath.