This week, we announced a brand new film series taking place every Monday night at Stateside at the Paramount called Stateside Independent, which will bring arthouse hits, festival favorites, and local premieres to Austin audiences on a weekly basis. I couldn’t be more excited about providing a fresh new platform for independent filmmakers to showcase their work, and my greatest hope is that this series proves to be a valuable addition for the growing community of Austin film lovers.
We’re particularly proud to be kicking this series off with 56 UP, the latest entry in the legendary documentary series from director Michael Apted. In 1964, a group of seven-year-olds in England were chosen to be interviewed about their hopes and dreams for their futures; in other words, what did they want to be when they grew up? Every seven years since then, Apted has gathered these individuals together to see where they are in life.
As you can imagine, each entry carries great emotional heft, as you witness dreams realized, shattered, or still to be determined. The most remarkable thing about watching the films is how they reflect on your own life and its ups and downs.
I first caught up with the series when I was 21, so 21 UP was particularly affecting for me while 28 UP was a little scary to watch. Would I wind up as unhappy or unsettled as some of these interviewees, or would I be exactly where I hoped I would be? Now, watching 28 UP again at the age of 27, I imagine I’ll see things differently. Perhaps what I perceived as failure at 21 I’ll now recognize as simply making the best of what life gives you.
With that in mind, I intend to re-watch all seven of the previous films and write about them here in the coming days, both as a prelude to our Texas premiere of 56 UP and also as a sort of Cliffs Notes for those of you who aren’t yet familiar with the series. But don’t take my word for it: all seven of the UP films are streaming on Netflix and available to rent at I Luv Video and Vulcan Video. So, why not join me on the journey with these remarkable subjects, culminating Monday February 18 at Stateside at the Paramount with 56 UP (with an added second screening on Tuesday February 19)?
I’ll see you back here tomorrow for a look back at the one that started it all, SEVEN UP! In the meantime, have a look at what critics are saying about 56 UP and take a peek at the trailer:
- “Critics’ Pick! Remarkable, poignant, fascinating. An analogous project in print or even still photographs wouldn’t be as powerful, because what gives the “Up” series its punch is not so much its longevity or the human spectacle it offers, but that these are moving images of touchingly vibrant lives at certain moments in time and space. The more you watch, the more the movies transform from mirrors into memory machines, ones that inevitably summon reflections of your own life.”
- “Grade: A! Awe-inducing. Apted has created a series of films as profound as they are straightforward: here is a chronicle of real human souls evolving in real time, a longitudinal study unique to the medium of moving images — and a documentary masterpiece. With each passing calendar leap, the experience of watching has only become more soul-stirring. ”
- “This is a series about us as much as it is a series about the individual fates of the children…It insists that we care, deeply, as we watch Apted and his subjects grow up, and as we follow them down.”