Editor's View: Further 'Up'

Publish date:
Social count:

When I was 9, my parents took me to see 21 Up, the third in filmmaker Michael Apted’s Up documentary series. The amazingly ambitious premise of this series—exploring the Jesuit motto “Give me the child until he is 7 and I will give you the man”—traces the lives of 14 people from 1964 (when they are 7) to the present. Every seven years, Apted visits them, conducts new interviews and produces a new documentary.

Image placeholder title

Bruce at age 7, as seen in

56 Up

I just watched 56 Up.

At 9, I didn’t understand anything about the documentary as a social experiment, but I was fascinated by the footage of Apted’s subjects—at 7, 14 and 21. It was such an incredible, honest record of life—I was coming off a summer of Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third Kind—and 21 ignited in me an almost immediate affinity. I felt the same thing a few years later when our local PBS station ran a marathon of all 12 episodes of An American Family, the 1973 WNET series that documented seven months in the life of a California family. In both instances I thought, I totally know these people.

That would be a crazy-person response to viewing any “reality” television today, but the people in both the Up series and An American Family are real and relatable.

I do feel that same engagement with the subjects of documentaries we’ve written about, but the attachment is so brief. When I can get a contemporary documentary series like Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky’s Paradise Lost trilogy, monitoring the continuing case of the West Memphis Three, I sign on.

I’ve seen all of the Up films, and each time there’s another one I feel a weird combination of anxiety (that seven years has passed so quickly), appreciation (that Michael Apted has dedicated so much of his life to sustaining this project) and excitement. I want to see how my “friends” are doing.



Black Metal, Murder and Mayhem: 'Lords of Chaos'

"At the end of the day, these were just young, passionate kids who had a lot of energy and some really big ideas, but played around with some dangerous stuff in the quest for fame, or infamy or whatever you want to call it. And ultimately, it got out of their control."

The Switch Announces Senior Executive Change

The Switch announced today that company co-founder, Scott Beers, is stepping down as Chief Executive Officer, as part of the company's continued-growth succession plan, effective immediately. The company's board of directors named Keith Buckley, who was recruited as Mr. Beers' successor and is the current President and COO, as its new President and CEO. Mr. Buckley, a 25-year veteran of the media services and telecom industries, was appointed to his current role by True Wind Capital Management in August 2017.

Proco Sound Now Shipping AoD Output Module Ahead of Nab 2018

ProCo Sound, manufacturer of a range of audio interface products, is now shipping its AoD Ouput Module ahead of NAB 2018 (Central Hall - Booth: C2322). Designed to ensure studio-quality, low-latency audio transport over any Dante network, the AoD Output Module features a Dante audio input and two channels of analog output from a rugged aluminum extrusion housing.