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    56 Up

    Delighted to see this is on its way soon (and hopefully to Oz as well). An utterly compelling documentary series over the years; the first one I think I remember seeing "live" rather than by way of a catch-up was 28 Up. Not sure about the maths, if Seven Up was in 1964 I would expect 56 Up next year, but let's not split hairs.

    However unbalanced the original demographic, one can't help becoming engaged in the outcomes for the individuals and concerned for their wellbeing, as the article discusses. Always particularly anxious to see how Neil Hughes is getting on.

    #2
    56 Up

    They should repeat 49up on one of the hundreds of available channels, in advance, so that we can remind ourselves of the characters. But I bet they won't.

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      #3
      56 Up

      Delighted to see this news. The tone of 49Up seemed to be a lot of them felt it should be stopped, particularly Apted himself. I felt that 42Up was much stronger (no real shame in that, I rate 42Up very very highly) but very much looking forward to 56Up.

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        #4
        56 Up

        49 up is up on YouTube.

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          #5
          56 Up

          PFC Sevastonelephant wrote:
          Always particularly anxious to see how Neil Hughes is getting on.
          SPOILER ALERT

          He was the Lib Dem candidate for Carlisle at the last General Election (I didn't vote for him though). He worked at the Defra office here for a while, he worked with one of my friends. I suspect they'll focus more on the election thing rather than his time working with my friend, admittedly.

          END OF SPOILER

          Another seven years gone by already, bloody hell. Looking forward to it though.

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            #6
            56 Up

            *********SPOILER ALERT***********

            The one surprise was the scheduling of Neil as the 3rd participant when in previous programmes he was the last to appear on the basis that his story is by far and away the most tragic (although he rightly points out that there is a sense of manipulation in that each interview is not entirely reflective of the seven years that have passed).

            For once the would-be-Littlejohn Tony did not appear first (the bubbly and youthful Sue, usually joined at the hip with Jackie and Lynn, had that distinction) and it was mad seeing Peter after 28 years, although his promotion of his Americana-style country band was hardly benevolent.

            Michael Apted is an accomplished director, but he’s also a superb interviewer in the sense that does not assume rapport with any of the participants and his understated style allows them to open up, which makes for continuously compelling television that is the once last link to an era in which ITV mattered.

            In fact, ITV have been keen to point out that this is the jewel in their crown, so it is a shame that the voice-over bint did not pay due reverence by remaining silent over the end-titles thereby spoiling my enjoyment of the Mastermind-like theme.

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              #7
              56 Up

              ShakhtarLakaBoomBoom wrote:
              For once the would-be-Littlejohn Tony did not appear first (the bubbly and youthful Sue, usually joined at the hip with Jackie and Lynn, had that distinction) and it was mad seeing Peter after 28 years, although his promotion of his Americana-style country band was hardly benevolent.
              Come on, I thought that was fair enough.

              I was struck by two things. One is that people are often more likeable when they're happier. I wouldn't want to make a universal out of it, but it's definitely true of me, and I thought it was especially noticeable in Peter. At the time he was being righteously angry about Mrs Thatch, he was quite right to be so, but he hated a job he wasn't cut out for but that hoovered up all his time, and, well, he was difficult company onscreen. It was good to see him contented, even if the price one had to pay was a bit too much very very mellow Americana for my liking.

              The other thing is that despite Apted's intention to make a documentary about the influence of class on one's destiny, and despite the fact that this viewer too signs up to a form of class politics, it's the people themselves who end up being fascinating, for my money, not the categories to which they belong.

              Comment


                #8
                56 Up

                Mykolai on Earth wrote:
                ShakhtarLakaBoomBoom wrote:
                it was mad seeing Peter after 28 years, although his promotion of his Americana-style country band was hardly benevolent.
                Come on, I thought that was fair enough.
                Peter had every right to speak of his love of music and his band, especially as it is something he shares with his missus, but to say that the only reason he came back to the show was to promote his band (who have done pretty well in their own right in any case) was selling himself short somewhat as his story of a working-class lad torn between his upbringing and ambition could have been one of the more fascinating case studies.

                As it is, half a lifetime has been lost even though any furore that followed his condemnation of Thatcher in 84 would have been long forgotten by 91. I can’t believe that was the only reason for his quitting the programme, not that it would matter, but it is a shame he’s been away for so long. That said, I did laugh when Apted asked which final it was when Tommy Smith scored just for his reaction, as if the 77 European Cup final should be on the National Curriculum along with Shakespeare.

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                  #9
                  56 Up

                  I thought that very fact that Pete said that the reason he rejoined the series was to publicise his band at once gave him a free pass. Not only was it him saying "You used me, I am now allowed to use you" but 'ordinary people' being part of the media is now such a part of life (as opposed to when it started) that it would seem inauthentic not to have one person publicising something via the series.

                  I did notice that, from last night's episode, people seemed to be much more content with life in their 50s. I hope so

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                    #10
                    56 Up

                    it's the people themselves who end up being fascinating, for my money, not the categories to which they belong.
                    I think that your paying other people to be fascinating is a sign of class politics

                    Comment


                      #11
                      56 Up

                      I didn't have a problem with Peter declaring that he was coming on the show to promote his group, not least because if he hadn't made such an upfront statement, it would have looked a bit embarrassing when he was patently doing so. I suspect that this programme may not be the makings of Good Intentions, however. As Neil complains, household name he may be but can he get a publishing house even to pass a cursory glance over his reams of scribblings? Can . . . well, maybe they have.

                      Like most people, I look in every seven years to see what has become of Neil. For the first time, I think he was showing a significant amount of consciousness about the attention he's drawn, and, rightly I think, found it unhelpful, patronising even. His very demeanour suggests a man with a "nervous complaint" as he puts it, but as he points out, he doesn't give us anything like enough information for us to presume to know what his issues are and that, of course, is fair enough.

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                        #12
                        56 Up

                        I was extremely glad that he mentioned about the nervous complaint. Not for any reasons of armchair psychology but because it was an elephant in the room that they obviously could not broach with him until he brought it up himself. Perhaps, his consciousness of his condition is down to him having had treatment for it in the meantime.

                        Actually, that is the pop psychology I was trying to avoid but there you go

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                          #13
                          56 Up

                          So last night, then: we had what you might call the two most overtly stereotypical of the group: posh One Nation Tory-boy barrister, and Tony, East End Geezer made good with his place in the sun in Spain. Yet, strangely, both came across better this time round than before I reckon, even if you'd disagree with them about loads of things and find them a bit tedious and annoying if you spent too much time in their company.

                          And another of the Londoners, Lynn, got in a couple of nice digs at the Labour party's rightward drift. The three East End girls/women have consistently come across as the most likeable, well-adjusted and basically decent of the whole group all the way through, and so it's continued this time.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            56 Up

                            Nothing against the East End girls, who I agree come across as being decent 'normal' people, but the man who moved to Australia and in particular Bruce seem the most likeable to me. Especially when you take into account Bruce's background.

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                              #15
                              56 Up

                              Yeah, they both turned out good. To the extent that I didn't feel like slagging Bruce off for the teaching-in-a-private-school thing, and his relationship with his two lads seems genuinely endearing.

                              A lot of it's blurring in my mind, cos we got the box-set DVD of 7-49up at Christmas and have just started watching it in tandem with the new progs.

                              Comment


                                #16
                                56 Up

                                I was intrigued by Tony, who was first up on past programmes, being last in line this time round. My fantastical inkling was that his whole world had come crashing down and he was living in some wheely bin in Dolgellau.

                                As it was, Apted's documentary legacy was suspended momentarily as Tony returned to his beloved dog-track, now the Olympic stadium, which proved a somewhat cinematic end to this series.

                                My sense was that the whole format was somewhat rushed. Three hours overall is not enough to capture these ever-expanding lives. It would be nice to think that six one-hour episodes would be commissioned for 63 Up, should it ever happen.

                                Otherwise, just give Bruce his own show. He's just lovely.

                                Comment


                                  #17
                                  It's as enthralling as ever to catch a glimpse of them at 63. RIP Lynn.

                                  i remember thinking after 42 (the first one i saw) that i had probably missed the best of this series, as with the onset of middle age the subjects had taken up their roles and positions in the social hierarchy, and begun to settle into professions, families, localities, homes. In fact, what has perhaps made it more vital than ever is the growth of reality tv. Apted's approach feels so patient and humane in contrast with the squawking Kyles and Cowells, yet he cannot transcend the genre altogether. The first episode i thought quite explicitly raised the themes of exposure, exploitation and the power of the media, throwing a righteous shadow over my keenness and delight in catching up with the cast again. Yes, a quarter of an hour per person feels perfunctory, but i don't think we really deserve any more, and it's just enough to remind you that we don't know them, and that we have no right to know them, however familiar they seem.

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                                    #18
                                    I hope this shows up over here soon. The first one I saw, on its release, was 14 Up. It's been kind of like catching up with long lost friends ever since.

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                                      #19
                                      Thanks for flagging this laverte and I hope we get it soon. It's always lovely to see them again, albeit with some apprehension beforehand.

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                                        #20
                                        Yes, my thanks to Laverte too. I didn't realise that the new series was on, so when I saw her post I quickly set the TV to record last night's episode on the +1 channel, downloaded the previous night's programme and made a note to watch tonight's.

                                        I got into this at 28 Up and have been watching ever since. Like AdC said, the participants are now almost like old friends that you catch up with every seven years and hope that, when you see them next, they're looking well and haven't suffered too much heartache since you last met.

                                        Comment


                                          #21
                                          Originally posted by Nocturnal Submission View Post
                                          Yes, my thanks to Laverte too. I didn't realise that the new series was on, so when I saw her post I quickly set the TV to record last night's episode on the +1 channel, downloaded the previous night's programme and made a note to watch tonight's.

                                          I got into this at 28 Up and have been watching ever since. Like AdC said, the participants are now almost like old friends that you catch up with every seven years and hope that, when you see them next, they're looking well and haven't suffered too much heartache since you last met.
                                          I started at 21 Up and was actually thinking recently there must be another one in the next couple of years but hadn't got round to looking it up. I surprised myself by scrolling this thread and seeing I had commented on this seven years ago, and my point still stands (probably more so) that it's scary how fast the seven year periods are going past now.

                                          Comment


                                            #22
                                            Compelling, and emotionally powerful, telly as ever. Most people are just basically alright aren't they? Very sad about Lyn – my favourite of the lot – and sad, too, that Nick's health has gone into an irreversible tailspin, but I honestly reckon I could go for a pint or a cup of tea with any of them really, even the ones I'd find loads of points of disagreement with.

                                            The biggest surprise - aside from Tony saying he'd entertain the idea of voting Green - was that he's a Spurs fan. Everything about him has always exuded West Ham; a rare example of my London football fan-dar being awry.

                                            Comment


                                              #23
                                              As brilliant as ever. Neil never disappoints does he? Since we last saw him he's had a 4 year marriage which ended in separation but which he hasn't given up on.* And now spends half his time in a bolt hole in rural France thanks to a legacy from his late mother. Loved his story about being feted in Australia as a possible future British Prime Minister too.

                                              *his rather guileless admission that the love of his life was a girl he met some time ago who now lives in Australia might not help him there.

                                              I was intrigued by the clip shown several times of the three private school kids as teenagers. Two of them were conservatively dressed and we've continued to follow them. The third had shoulder length hair and wore fashionable gear. What happened to him? Presumably he opted out of future programmes or did he take the hippy trail to Katmandu and was never seen again?

                                              Comment


                                                #24
                                                As E10 says, they all seem to come over as very decent human beings who you feel you'd like as a friend, or least would enjoy socialising with.

                                                Wittoner, the third prep school kid that we don't see is Charles, who is a successful documentary film-maker but, despite that, refuses to take part in the series. Full details:


                                                Charles Furneaux did not get into Oxford, saying in 21 Up he was glad to have avoided the "prep school–Marlborough–Oxbridge conveyor belt" by going to Durham University instead; however, he later attended Oxford as a post-graduate student. Charles has worked in journalism in varying capacities over the years, including as a producer for the BBC, and in the making of documentary films, including Touching the Void. He chose not to appear in the series after 21 Up, other than the contribution of an occasional photograph.

                                                During an on-stage interview at London's
                                                National Film Theatre in December 2005, Apted alleged that Charles had attempted to sue him when he refused to remove Charles's likeness from the archive sequences in 49 Up. Apted also commented on the irony that as a documentary maker himself, Charles was the only one who refused to continue.

                                                By the time of 56 Up, all references to Charles had been removed other than in fleeting glimpses of joint shots with Andrew and John.

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                                                  #25
                                                  Thanks for that NS. Very Interesting.

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