21 December 2019 | gortx
Another visit with 'old friends'
63 UP (Michael Apted, 2019). In limited release.
The world's greatest ever cinema experiment enters with it's latest installment - 56+ years in the making. At this point, the films are far removed from being stand-alone projects.One must have seen a few of the previous episodes (spaced 7 years apart since 1964) in order to fully appreciate the marvelous work Michael Apted and his team have achieved.
And, now, as the group (originally 14 children) have broached the 60 year threshold, the mortality factor has certainly become the overwhelming obstacle to the series continuing. The first of the 14 has already passed on, another is very ill, and two more participants declined being interviewed (one for the very first time; the second (Charles) left in the late-70s/early 80s).
Still, as melancholy a Doc as 63 UP is, it's still a fine piece of work. I began watching the series with 1984's 28 UP, and haven't missed one since (I've also caught up with 2 of the 3 other entries recently). So, to see the remaining eleven men and women is like catching up with old friends. American viewers are used to 'reality show' celebrities now, but, keep in mind, this group have been major celebrities in England for much of the past five decades. Tony, the ex-cabbie even relates a story of a passenger asking for his autograph when they were all in the company of Buzz Aldrin - the 2nd man to walk on the moon!
Filmmaker Michael Apted (COAL MINER'S DAUGHTER, WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH) is now 78. Apted was a researcher on the original film (now dubbed 7 UP), and has directed all the subsequent films (he told me he had a contingency plan in place in case he wasn't able to finish future episodes). See you in seven years. On to 70 UP