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Amanda G. (akgreen) from CONNERSVILLE, IN Reviewed on 12/18/2007...
The Up Series is an amazing set of documentaries - you really come to know these people and want to hear how they've been doing.
A subjective point of view.
email@example.com | WI, USA | 12/07/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am one of the people in this video - so I have strong feelings of various kinds about it. There's no denying it is powerful stuff - Roger Ebert lists this series among `The Great Movies' on his web site (right after `2001, a Space Odyssey' - which amazed me!)What is good about it is that (first) the old film is like a time capsule - it's hard to believe we were ever like that; and (second) that it's like time lapse photography of a flower blooming (or something) - you see different things in people when you see their lives pass at high speed. If we saw enough people fast forwarded like this, we might really learn something. Finally, many people appreciate relating it to their own lives.The bad part is that it is intensely humiliating to be shown answering the most personal questions I have ever seen anybody have to answer on TV. I find it really hard to watch the tapes at all. (So don't get the tape - let me sell you a book on engineering!)(By the way - Apted did not direct the early stuff; he was involved, but it was his first job out of college.)"
Apted just keeps getting better
firstname.lastname@example.org | 09/21/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"42 up is the next installment in apted's series. he took 14 seven year old british children and interviewed them. he has returned to film and interview them every seven years and they are now 42 years old (or they were when he filmed it in 1998). the most fascinating thing about this and his other films, is to see the development of a real person's dreams, goals, and reality over a lifetime. people who have seen the others (7up, 14up...35up) will be fascinated to see the changes in the lives of these intriguing people. neil, the man who went from a cute, confident boy to a homeless, mentally ill adult, has a pretty drastic change happen in his life (i won't break the suspense) that past viewers will be anxious to see. this film comes highly recommended by all the film critics i have read, receiving at least 3 1/2 stars or more. get this film before they turn 49."
Before purchasing 42 UP, consider getting the whole series
The Rocketman | Los Angeles, CA | 11/29/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The whole series up to this film is finally available on DVD and is an awesome experience, much richer than this single film, as amazing as this single film is. I have discussed the reasons why one might prefer to get the entire series on DVD over on the Amazon page for the set."
One Of The Best
Mark W Smith | Indianapolis, IN USA | 10/15/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Last week I purchased a video Roger Ebert identifies as one of the best films of all time, Michael Apted's "42 Up". And I wholeheartedly agree. This documentary, released in 2000, is one in a series of films that chronicles the lives of the same 14 people over the course of 35 years. The series' first installment was filmed in 1964. Fourteen, seven year old British children from various socioeconomic backgrounds, were interviewed about their lives, likes and dislikes, as well as their hopes and dreams for the future. Apted has tracked down each of these people every seven years, asking them the same, as well as other questions, to obtain their current status, their here-to-date accomplishments, as well as their disappointments. From each of these episodes of interviews, he has created another film, released shortly after filming, every seven years. The titles of the films denote the participant's ages; hence "7 Up", "14 Up", and so on. The original premise of the series was to test a hypothesis based on an old Hebrew quotation, "Give me the child until the age of seven, and I will show you the man"; the point being that our ultimate status in life reflected by socioeconomic level, our values and culture, are largely determined by the family into which we are born. This question is particularly significant in class conscious Great Britain where class distinctions are particularly apparent, if not a mainstay of their culture. And, the series tends to affirm the hypothesis, as most of the film's protagonists remain in the same socioeconomic group throughout their lives. The beauty of the film, however, is not in scientific investigation. And, one need not see the earlier films to appreciate the ones that follow. In each successive documentary, Apted includes footage from the earlier releases, as well as outtakes that had not been seen previously. Each film stands alone, on its own merit. What we experience, as viewers, is the unfolding and development of lives over time, compressed into a few minutes. We witness their challenges, their satisfactions, and their evolving expectations of themselves. Although Apted's questions are relatively innocuous, through the course of our repeatedly hearing them and their answers, we gain a relatively intimate knowledge of who these people are, and what they want. At times, the camera is unflinchingly honest. The inconsistencies obvious. And, it is also noted that Apted has clearly developed a level of intimacy with his subjects, as they often refer to him in the interviews by his first name. Keep in mind that he first met these people when they were children, and he has periodically checked in with them for nearly as long as they can remember. It is not surprising then, that each film has garnered increasing interest in Great Britain, as those following the series began to anticipate the ongoing sagas and, in some instances, had developed a genuine caring for some of films participants. One individual, Neil, whose life has taken some very difficult turns, received considerable attention. Some met the release of "42 Up" with ambivalence, as they wanted to know what had happened to Neil, but also feared the worse. I can attest to similar feelings, having previously seen the episodes of "28" and "35". Not all of the participants have been pleased with their involvement. One even went so far as to describe the experience as a curse that comes around every seven years. Some have opted out for some of the films; a couple have withdrawn permanently. The value of this work, however, is not derived from voyeurism, but rather, from what is stirred from within ourselves. As we watch the film and observe life's many transitions, we cannot help but to reflect on our own; to take note of where we are, where we have been, and where we have wanted to be. Although "42 Up" was to have been the last in the series, there has been ongoing speculation about a "49". Perhaps that is more telling about our own aspirations, a statement that we are not done yet with our own lives, than being motivated by our curiosity about the lives of others."
Documentary filmmaking at its best
Haseeb | Tempe, AZ United States | 10/28/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In 1964 filmmaker Micheal Apted interviewed a number of seven year olds in England from different economic backgrounds. He has been back to interview them every seven years. The subjects are 42 years old in this film. This is perhaps the most fascinating and poignant documentary series I have ever seen and am likely to see. As you watch this film and see the drama of lives unfold well into middle age, you can't help but to be in awe. This film forces you to ponder on your own life and ask yourself questions. What have we been put on this earth for and what is the true meaning of life? Without giving away the whole film, I will say that a few changes have taken place in peoples lives and most of them have progressed rather nicely since 35 Up. One of the subjects got divorced but is happily remarried at 42. Another subject was actually caught being unfaithful but was forgiven and is still married to the same person. One of the subjects finally gets married at the age of 42, but has concerns about trying to start a family so late. Some of the subjects who've been married for a long time talk about how hard marriage is. Other subjects who have teenagers talk about how difficult they can be. None of the subjects was incarcerated and none of them died yet. I hate to break it to the Neil fans, but he is not doing anything all that big dispite the rumors. Although he is still on welfare, he has managed to find some stability in his life and is keeping himself busy. He still more or less has the same demeanor he had at the age of 35."