Friday, November 21, 2008

Seven Up! and 7 + Seven

DVD review from The Movie Snob

Seven Up! and 7 + Seven. (A). I have wanted to see these films for a long time, and The Borg Queen's subscription to Netflix was my ticket. In 1964, some British film people assembled 14 seven-year-old children from various social classes and interviewed them. They interviewed some individually, and some in small groups. Since then, a researcher on the first installment (Seven Up!) named Michael Apted has revisited those same 14 people every seven years and filmed the results. (I didn't realize Apted is a successful commercial director too, having helmed movies such as Gorillas in the Mist and The World Is Not Enough.)

So I watched and thoroughly enjoyed these first two installments. The kids are very cute and genuine in the first film, but by the second one some of them have become a little guarded. A girl from the top of the upper-crust, in particular, seems to be deciding already that her participation in the project was a bad decision. A boy who was living in a group home for poor children in the first installment seems a sad and downtrodden 14-year-old. Three upper-class boys who are largely indistinguishable in the first movie are developing distinct personalities in the second one. And so on. I'm looking forward to watching the later installments to see which of the kids refuse to participate further and which of them challenge the filmmakers' apparent belief that socio-economic class is destiny.


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