Entertainment Magazine

Documentary of the Day – The Up Series

Posted on the 16 February 2012 by Plotdevice39 @PlotDevices

Well, today is a special day for me.  The Earth has successfully completed it’s revolution around the sun, culminating with the day of my birth.  Yes, it is my birthday today.  Huzzah!  So while I will keep this one short, as I deem it appropriate to have the day off from posts, I wanted to at least leave you with a documentary that is grandiose, but also a beautiful use of the film medium.  The Up Series is a documentary series that has been going since 1964 and the next release will be in May (projected anyways) as the series continues to look at the lives of 14 British citizens, all of whom starred in the first movie at the age of seven and are now coming up on the age of 56.

Documentary of the Day – The Up Series

The documentary series was started by Granada Television and had two directors over the course of the series, Paul Almond and Michael Apted.  Apted has been the main stay of the documentary series since the 7 Plus Seven and will release the latest installment of Up, 56 Up.  The series chronicles the life of 14 British citizens, all coming from different socio-economic standings, with the belief that their different class standing will determine how their lives will end up.  The documentary has spanned 49 years, following the children at the age of seven.  Every seven years, the documentary will look in on the subjects and film their experiences and life standing at that current time.  Not all fourteen subjects have to participate, only those that choose to at the time.  The Up Series is expansive and utilizes the medium of film to document the progression of life and it become an intimate look at the destiny that different people have.

If you are able to find the series (last time I checked it was on Netflix at some point), then you won’t be missing out on one of the uniquest documentaries to have been undertaken.  There is something so captivating with this documentary that you find yourself wanting to know more about the subject and how their lives have developed.  It puts into perspective how different our lives are and by documenting, every 7 years, the lives of the subjects, we learn a little more about them.  We watch them grow, we watch them turn into the people they were destined to be, and through it all, this is as genuine as a human interest story can be.

Documentary of the Day – The Up Series

We sit and watch hours and hours of reality TV, but that holds nothing to what The Up Series is accomplishing.  It’s taking and using the medium of film to create a narrative on life.  While not our own lives, but at least we are watching the development of life and how they are influenced by their surroundings.  The intimate narrative plays out with authenticity that some movies and human interest documentaries can only imagine.  We watch them go through the pangs of life, whether good or bad, and in the end we come to grow with them.  Fascinating and truly one of the most ambitious projects out there that everyone should be aware of.


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