56 (UP)

Give me the child until he is seven and I will give you the man.

“Starting in 1964 with Seven Up, The UP Series has explored this Jesuit maxim. The original concept was to interview 14 children from diverse backgrounds from all over England, asking them about their lives and their dreams for the future. Every seven years, renowned director Michael Apted, a researcher for Seven Up, has been back to talk to them, examining the progression of their lives.”

Seven Up was followed by 7 plus Seven, 21 UP, 28 Up, 35 UP, 42 UP, and 49 UP.  The next installment of the Up Series will begin filming in 2012.  Here is an excerpt from an interview with the New York Times in December, 2010, Apted discusses his views of the UP Series and the next one, 56 UP.

“Q.  To what extent are the logistics and rhythms of your life dictated by the demands of that very first project more than 40 years ago, and does it go beyond 56? Is there a point where you say that’s it.
“A.  I’ve never had any plans to shut that down. I always worried is it going to get boring, and I found that it wasn’t. I suppose the big test was really “28 Up.” One is, the physical changes started reducing seriously. You know, 7 … 14 … 21 … oh, my goodness, look what’s happening to them. Twenty-eight, that physical thing wasn’t so operational, and yet the film is more compelling, I think, than any of the ones before it. I found that the kind of emotional geography of the series is richer than just the physical geography of it, so I never thought it would get boring and it hasn’t. It got richer. Got harder but it’s got richer. I suppose the only real reason I’d shut it down is if enough of them pulled out, and then I would spend my whole time trying to explain why they had. It’s always a worry for me, how many are going to do it. There’s never any guarantee. And it does fluctuate. I lost two forever. One at 21 and one at 28 — not lost in a deceased sense but lost. You know other people have dropped out then come back. I’m now preparing 56, and I may well lose someone else in it, but that would be the only reason I’d stop, if so many pulled out that it would kind of somehow make it all irrelevant. Because it’s the counterpointing and the contrasts that’s some of the richness of it, and to lose that, I think, is to lose one of my aces in the hand.”
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One Comment

  1. Posted March 3, 2013 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

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