Wednesday, 2 January 2008

The Up Series

We just watched the latest installment in The Up Series - 49 Up. I find this series of films to be absolutely fascinating. I'm so glad that it was recommended to me. In 1964 a group of seven-year-olds was chosen to be interviewed for this series. The idea was to show English children from different "classes" and to explore the Jesuit maxim, "Give me a child until he is seven and I will give you the man." Every seven years after that they were brought together to be interviewed again and this progression of their lives was filmed. There is just something about this that gets me, I find it very touching. It might be seeing them all as young children (the age of my youngest), full of hopes and dreams and excitement, then watching them as they grow older. It might be seeing their faces and bodies aging, yet still seeing that seven-year-old child within those faces. Maybe it is seeing how some of them change and how some of them hardly seem to? Some get married and have children, some don't, some are grandparents in the most recent film. Roger Ebert calls it "an inspired, almost noble use of the film" and I think he has it right on. This film really does "honour the ordinary", it makes me see how fleeting and precious life is. It reminds me of what is important in life. It helps me to remember (and I can always use the reminder) that things are not always as they seem on the surface, and that all of humanity has the same needs. I highly recommend it.

1 comment:

Mary-Sue said...

We've watched some of this too, and I've just loved watching these people age and change and discover themselves. We've just happened to catch it on CBC t.v. now and then. I'm happy to know it's something I can see at my leisure! Thank you!