Posts Tagged ‘“7 Up”’

“63 UP”  My rating: A- (Playing Jan. 17, 19 and 20 at the Tivoli at the Nelson-Atkins)

125 minutes | No MPAA rating

When Brit director Michael Apted first launched his “7 Up” documentary series back in 1963, among its major themes were politics and class.

The project’s big idea was to take a bunch of 7-year-olds from various social backgrounds and study them over time, returning every seven years with an update of how they’re doing (“21 Up,” “35 Up,” “56 Up”).  Originally much was made of the differences between the privileged kids and those who were struggling in the lower levels of the British beehive.

More than a half century later the world’s longest-lasting cinematic experiment continues, but the emotional tenor of the piece has mellowed. At age 63 Apted’s subjects have been seasoned by the death of parents and friends and the expectations of their own demises (in fact, we learn that one woman subject died just a couple of years ago).

So now it’s not so much about Tories vs. Labour or even Brexit (though the subject does come up) as about figuring out what to do with the time you’ve got left.

Apted’s methodology remains unchanged. He approaches his still-participating 12 subjects one at a time, alternating past footage with current interviews. It’s weird watching someone age instantaneously before our eyes; in the dad guts and double chins and graying (or missing) hair we are forced to confront the forces working on our own bodies.

Tony, the once-aspiring jockey who became a London cabbie, now laments that Uber is putting him out of business. The self-described “Cheekie Chappie” augments his income with walk-on film roles and retains his working-class childhood belief that in class warfare “it’s us or them.”

Corporate lawyer Andrew at age 63 laments that he was so career driven he failed to make time for his family.


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