Top positive review
Amazing series of films, but try to watch them all in order for maximum effect
on February 26, 2011
The 'Up Series' represents one of the most fascinating and unusual uses of film in cinema history - a documentary life-long chronicle of the lives of 14 people starting at 7 years old, revisiting them every seven years through age 56 (so far), presented largely through simple, straightforward, beautifully done interviews.
This film is from the more recent part of that journey. And while it can be enjoyed in a vacuum, the true power of the piece is watching these people through the arc of their whole lives. Watching one piece out of that context can't have quite the same power. This is a case where the sum is greater than the parts, even if the parts are all pretty terrific.
In terms of the series as a whole (which I strongly suggest you seek out) - while I could quibble, wishing for a bit more depth here and there (especially with the women, where there's a bit too much emphasis on love and marriage at the expense of all else), it's really an astounding, moving, frightening and uplifting document. There's no way to watch this remarkable series of films without reflecting deeply on one's own life, and how you have changed (and stayed the same) over your own lifetime.
While Michael Aped deserves every bit of credit he's received for this amazing piece of cultural anthropology, it's important to note that the first film, 7 Up,was actually directed by Paul Almond, and Apted was a that point a researcher for the project.