― jaymc (jaymc), Tuesday, 7 November 2006 17:30 (6 years ago) Permalink
Over the past few weeks I watched the entire series through Netflix. I just finished the latest installment about an hour ago.
I realize the next one won't be out for another 5 years, but I feel compelled to offer quick thoughts on some of the participants.
I liked Tony a lot until the weird "I'm like everyone else - I prefer to be with people from my own culture" comments in 49 up. He's inspiring because he makes me think that I, or anyone else, really, could manage to become a semi-successful professional actor. In 28 up, he's absolutely awful in his acting lessons, but there he is in the successive installments, as an extra, or in that commercial with the naked people running around. Tony - the sort of likeable racist!
Jackie, Lynn and Sue are really, really boring, except when Sue sang karaoke in 42 up. That was awesome.
Everyone mentions the supposed big turnaround in Suzy's life, comparing her at 21 and then afterward. She still seems to have an underlying sorrow in her eyes, but maybe that's just me. Then again, most of the participants in this series seem to have a mournful quality.
I want to like Andrew, but he's so tight-lipped that watching his progress through the years is much less revealing than most of the other participants. In 49 up, Andrew says he and the other two rich kids (Charles and John) have been very guarded on camera, starting with the 21 film. Apted asks him what he's guarding, and Andrew pauses, says he's "Guarded about being guarded...", and then smiles smugly. Moving on...
John refused to participate in 28, and then reappeared for 35, supposedly to publicize his Oxfam charity work in Bulgaria, before disappearing again in 42. He's back in 49, and although his asshole persona seems to be slightly fading, it's still grimly evident in every word he says.
With every next disc, I was disappointed that Charles had again refused to be filmed, which is ironic because he's a documentarian himself, working on Touching the Void. In fact, on Wikipedia it says "Michael Apted revealed that Charles had attempted to sue him when he refused to remove his appearances from the archive sequences in 49 Up." Damn!
Paul has been working at sign making company for ten years, and he STILL hasn't asked for or received a raise??
Symon seems very personable, so it's kind of strange to me that 2 of his 5 kids still won't speak to him.
It was sad watching Nick throw his intellectual weight into nuclear fission research in the 1980s, because we all know how that turned out.
Peter dropped out of the series after 28 up, apparently after criticism in the press over his political beliefs. On Wikipedia it says he "became a lawyer and eventually a musician and singer-songwriter", in a band called The Good Intentions.
I've always liked Bruce a lot, even though my girlfriend quite correctly points out that he is boring.
Then there's Neil, of course. The transformation in his personality from 7 to 28 are some of the most heartbreaking moments in the entire series. Now he's involved in local politics. I wonder if his presence in the Up! series has helped or hindered his political career.
― Z S, Monday, 25 June 2007 06:16 (5 years ago) Permalink
Yeah Neil is the real focal point of the series, because his life has been the strangest of them all. The others all had lives that panned out relatively normally, really. I found 49up SO DEPRESSING, for reasons others stated above. Regrets and resignation and rapid aging. It really makes me down about my own mortality.
― Trayce, Monday, 25 June 2007 06:45 (5 years ago) Permalink
havent read the thread but this gets kindof brutal to watch multiple "episodes" or whatever in a row (most are on netflix watch it now btw). constantly seeing the flashbacks to everyone at 7 is like being shown home movies of someone elses kids over and over again
― johnny crunch, Tuesday, 8 April 2008 22:09 (5 years ago) Permalink
I did this a few months ago. I think it's worth it, although because there are so many flashbacks in each one, it gets sort of repetitive after a while: by 42-Up I was able to recite particular interview answers verbatim.
-- jaymc (jaymc), Wednesday, September 14, 2005 7:13 AM (2 years ago) Bookmark Link
― jaymc, Tuesday, 8 April 2008 22:24 (5 years ago) Permalink
back next month (apologies for the Torygraph link). i hope Neil's alright.
seems like almost the entire thing is on You Tube atm in episode-by-episode feature length chunks.
― piscesx, Friday, 20 April 2012 01:28 (1 year ago) Permalink
BOM BOM BOMMMMM. tonight. so psyched for this!apparently thirteen of the original fourteen participants are involved; i am thinking this includes the kid of the kind of private-school-three who stopped participating and then went on to become a documentarian for channel four.
― blossom smulch (schlump), Monday, 14 May 2012 10:20 (1 year ago) Permalink
I have bad news for you
― o s– man (Autumn Almanac), Monday, 14 May 2012 10:27 (1 year ago) Permalink
anyway yes, excellent news
― o s– man (Autumn Almanac), Monday, 14 May 2012 10:29 (1 year ago) Permalink
I missed out quite a few updates, and the kids are quite interested in the concept.
― Mark G, Monday, 14 May 2012 10:34 (1 year ago) Permalink
i watched the whole thing in a couple of weeks a year or so ago. so amazing. as valuable a document on thatcherism as there is, too.
― blossom smulch (schlump), Monday, 14 May 2012 10:36 (1 year ago) Permalink
the poor people did come rushing in iirc
― Autumn Almanac, Monday, 14 May 2012 10:40 (1 year ago) Permalink
All are still alive, though.
― Mark G, Monday, 14 May 2012 10:45 (1 year ago) Permalink
What does everyone think of John's comments here?
― aonghus, Monday, 14 May 2012 10:57 (1 year ago) Permalink
That's an hour-long show!
― Mark G, Monday, 14 May 2012 11:00 (1 year ago) Permalink
Oops, that didn't work quite the way I thought it would. I mean, what does everyone think of John's comments starting at 51:29 of the above video?
― aonghus, Monday, 14 May 2012 11:02 (1 year ago) Permalink
Let's be charitable:
John was shackled to a portrait of himself at 7 that was "all poor peopple are smelly and should be (etc)" from the first episode. I can believe he had a life of priv and fast-track, and felt for more than one reason he had to make good for his previous 'entitleness' attitude. (to be fair, during the first ep they had a party for all 14 participants and he was all "actually, they were all jolly good fun and nice" etc)
So, don't know what 'comments' you are referring to, but he has latterly been very "this programme is the cross I have to bear" ...
― Mark G, Monday, 14 May 2012 11:03 (1 year ago) Permalink
I mean these comments in particular: "I suspect that why this program is compelling and interesting for viewers, and I quite see why it is, is because really it's like 'Big Brother' or 'I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here', it is actually real-life TV and with the added bonus that you can see people grow old, lose their hair, get fat. Fascinating, I'm sure, but does it have any value? That's a different question."
He phrased it in a rather blunt fashion. The program certainly has more value than 'Big Brother', for instance. But there could be an element of truth in what he says. The show started out with more of a sociological aim and ended up being more about human interest. On the other hand, human interest isn't necessarily a bad reason to watch a show.
― aonghus, Monday, 14 May 2012 12:15 (1 year ago) Permalink
So, there you go.
― Mark G, Monday, 14 May 2012 13:01 (1 year ago) Permalink
Just thought it was an interesting statement that got me thinking. The series itself and its aims, much like the people featured on it, has changed at lot over the years. I don't think that's a bad thing. There must be something of value in it for me since I've sat down and watched every episode so far. I'm nervously looking forward to tonight's episode, in the sense that I feel it will probably be very interesting but also contain some depressing truths about life's difficulties.
― aonghus, Monday, 14 May 2012 16:01 (1 year ago) Permalink
It's rare that you're able to witness the progression of a person's life outside of real time. Even if you're not seeing the whole picture (e.g. six-year chunks of missing time, the inevitable subjectivity of editing choices, etc.), the contracted nature of that presentation gives one a bit more perspective on the effects that class and environment and expectation have on how a person's life unfolds. I think it's an extremely worthwhile endeavor for that fact alone, but it's also just really engaging to see where these folks are after some time has elapsed.
― Bob Bop Perano (Deric W. Haircare), Monday, 14 May 2012 16:15 (1 year ago) Permalink
Just got back from 56 Up. I watched the 7 through 49 all in the span of about two weeks seven years ago, so this was the first one where I really felt time pass along with all of the participants. Man, it made me really emotional. The series is about not just the main interviewees but also their spouses, their parents, their children, their neighborhoods, their workplaces and friends.
― pun lovin criminal (polyphonic), Wednesday, 27 February 2013 06:22 (3 months ago) Permalink
I've been holding off on this until I catch up with 49 Up. Saw 28/35/42 when they came out; I wrote about buying a box set I can't play (because of formatting) on another thread. The theatre that's been playing 56 ran the whole series a couple of months ago, but I couldn't get out that weekend. I really don't want to skip from 42 to 56.
― clemenza, Wednesday, 27 February 2013 13:00 (3 months ago) Permalink
there's enough recapping in every edition that you can probably cope ok
― ( ͡° ͜ʖ͡°) (sic), Wednesday, 27 February 2013 13:59 (3 months ago) Permalink
Yes. It's not the gap that bothers me as much as, will I even take the time to see 49 Up if I skip ahead to 56? I know that parts of 49 will be incorporated into 56.
― clemenza, Wednesday, 27 February 2013 14:39 (3 months ago) Permalink
LOL at the guy who rejoins the series only to plug his band.
(watching 56 Up right now)
― Elvis Telecom, Sunday, 2 June 2013 05:12 (2 weeks ago) Permalink
fuck that guy
― daft on the causes of punk (schlump), Sunday, 2 June 2013 05:18 (2 weeks ago) Permalink
& his shitty band
i watched them all in a row earlier this year. lots of repetitive content, but mostly good. band guy not as annoying as posh guy who only appears to pimp his bulgarian charity or w/e. 70 Up should be interesting. hate the documentarian dude who hasnt done one since the early 70s more than anyone else
― i wanna be a gabbneb baby (Hungry4Ass), Sunday, 2 June 2013 06:26 (2 weeks ago) Permalink
― ¬╡▫ ▫╞⌠ (sic), Sunday, 2 June 2013 08:02 (2 weeks ago) Permalink
He means Charles.The self-promo aspect is very ugh, breaks the spell of the films.How/what format are you watching it, ET?
― A True White Kid that can Jump (Granny Dainger), Sunday, 2 June 2013 08:08 (2 weeks ago) Permalink
The three part version that aired on BBC was posted on USENET awhile back and am just getting around to it.
― Elvis Telecom, Sunday, 2 June 2013 09:34 (2 weeks ago) Permalink
fuck that guy & his shitty band
Yeah, but if you freeze frame on what the tabloid said about him back in the 80s ("why is this man allowed to teach our kids?" or something) you can at least understand why he decided to be a bit wary of participating for the good of humanity.
― Alba, Sunday, 2 June 2013 10:03 (2 weeks ago) Permalink