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56 Up: Way better than your class reunion

 

 
Overview
 

Genre:
 
Starring: , , , ,
 
Directed By:
 
Studio: ,
 
MPAA Rating:
 
Release Date: January 4, 2013 (US)
 
Length: 114 minutes
 
Directing
9.0


 
Plot
9.0


 
Acting
8.0


 
Cinematography
8.0


 
Total Score
8.5
8.5/ 10


 

Whoa


It's eight installments in and still going strong.

No


To paraphrase Casey Kasem as sampled on Negativland's brilliant 1991 "U2" single, these folks are from England and who gives a shit?


Bottom Line

“Give me a child until he is seven and I will give you the man.” – Francis Xavier That Jesuit motto is the foundation for Michael Apted’s Up series, the much-lauded English documentary that follows – beginning at age seven – the lives of 14 British school children. The project began in 1964 with 7 […]

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Posted January 31, 2013 by

 
Full Review
 
 

“Give me a child until he is seven and I will give you the man.” – Francis Xavier

That Jesuit motto is the foundation for Michael Apted’s Up series, the much-lauded English documentary that follows – beginning at age seven – the lives of 14 British school children. The project began in 1964 with 7 Up, andoffers a new episode every seven years.

Depending on your perspective, it is either an honor or a dis to inspire an episode of The Simpsons (“Springfield Up,” Season 18, Episode 13). But it is certainly a mark of cultural resonance and recognition that the Up series was parodied by Groening and company. (In the episode, Eric Idle plays documentary filmmaker Declan Desmond.)

Even more than previous installments, Apted seems inclined to acknowledge his subjects’ self-consciousness. But this is not mere kvetching – it’s worth watching the principles reason through their (sometimes conflicting) feelings about participating in the series. (Thirteen of fourteen participants are still featured.)

Ostensibly an examination of the English class structure, 56 Up now touches on family, society, purpose, perseverance and much more. Although my own Anglophilia has partially fueled my desire to follow the series throughout the years, its acclaim is vast and its influence significant. 56 Up takes its place in a well-deserved legacy.


Mark

 
Mark Woodlief wrote for the cool '90s magazines that didn't make it – Option, Raygun, Warp, The (Seattle) Rocket, CMJ – plus some daily and weekly newspapers, too. Seeing all the great bands – Mission of Burma, Husker Du, Volcano Suns, Flaming Lips, Wire, the dBs, the Feelies, Patti Smith, ad infinitum – he has seen has left him Whopperjawed.


One Comment


  1.  
    Kimm

    Didn’t know this existed — gonna track it down. And The Simpsons episode to boot. Nice review!





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