Monday, November 5, 2012


Thorne, B. "The Seven Up! Films: Connecting the Personal and the Sociological. "Ethnography 10.3 (2009): 327-40. Print.

In the article “The Seven Up! Films: Connecting the Personal and the Sociological," Barrie Thorne describes how gradually the original intent of the UP! Series became less relevant and the films focus shifted to a more personal direction.  The original intent of the series was to make a political statement on how social inequalities shape individual lives and help determine their futures.  At first the children where shown grouped together with other children from similar social and economical backgrounds.  Yet, throughout the series the focus of the films took a turn and the series developed an “emphasis on ‘human drama,’ ‘human nature,’ or ‘human interest “ (336).  The characters became more so individuals and focus was lost on their perspective social classes.  There became an emphasis on the personal struggles, accomplishments, and outcomes of the lives of the individual characters and not as much emphasis on the characters social class and how it molded them.  The individual families the characters had developed became a great focus in contraction to there being no focus on the families of the characters when they where children.

Apted, Michael. "Michael Apted Responds." Ethnography 10.3 (2009): 359-67. Print.

In the article "Michael Apted Responds," Apted does what he describes as odd for someone in his profession: he engages in debate with criticism of his work.  Essentially in the article Apted is defending himself, the UP! Series, and it’s intent.  He describes how the film shifting focus from sociologic to the individual characters was inevitable.  Many factors led to this shift in focus: each installment needing to be able to stand on its own as an individual film; the characters wanting to tell their own story, their way; and the characters wanting to prove the original intent of the film wrong, are just a few.  He says that the shift in focus was “organic and inexorable, and not the will of some bottom-line,”(366) defending the accusations that he shifted focus to make the film more appealing and make more revenue.  He goes on to say that the UP! Series wasn’t really planned; it was more so invented as he went along. 

Ebert, Roger. "The Up Documentaries (1985)." Sun-Times, 25 Oct. 1985. Web. .

In the article “The Up Documentaries (1985)”, Ebert gives his take on the UP! Series and describes the changes some of the characters go through throughout the series. He touches on some of the differences between England the United States such as how different social classes have more significant differences in England than in the United States.  He also touches on the traditional gender roles of the late 1900’s and how men controlled the lives of women.    He touches on different characters and the paths their lives have taken.  He determines that some characters are happy, some are not and that’s because some are doing what they enjoy and “That seems to be the key: Doing what you like.”

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