In 1964 a young aspiring filmmaker was asked to shoot some documentary footage of fourteen 7 year-olds spread across various public and private schools in and around London. Every seven years since then director Michael Apted has been following their lives in what has become one of the most extraordinary series, “Up!,” ever compiled. Throughout this period only a few have left the film, all but one have married, over half have divorced and remarried, and most have had kids and have been through a series of careers. One could view this series as the first reality television concept ever executed, although there is no game, only the passage of time observe methodically. For those who have been following these people since the beginning, waiting seven years to catch up might seem excruciating, but in a sense many of the viewers are probably experiencing similar arcs in their own lives. The one thing becomes clear after you see a few of these is that for most of the characters each period tends to have a similar theme. Some are uniformly depressing, others more angst ridden, but “49 Up” has a rather happy or at least “at peace” feel to it. This is a master work of art, and an education in being human.
Archive for January, 2007
In less than six years singer and head Decemberist, Colin Meloy, has evolved his esoteric sea shanty-odd parable rock idea into a fully realized, quasi-commercially viable phenomenon. On “The Crane Wife,” their major label debut and Japanese folk tale concept record, the band comes away sounding almost completely accessible. Oddly Meloy sounds, at times, like late 80’s era Michael Stipe, and with songs like “The Perfect Crime Part 2” there are finally choruses infectious enough to latch onto and scream into the night. Without question, The Decemberists have become one of the most important and innovative American bands of the new millennium.