February 22 — February 28
|Sat & Sun||2:00||5:00||7:45|
Unless otherwise noted, films begin on Friday and run through the next Thursday.
In 1963, Granada Television in the U.K. began a unique, audacious experiment in documentary filmmaking. Director Paul Almond interviewed 14 British children from various walks of life and social strata. Their hopes and dreams for the future were captured in a short documentary called Seven Up! (for the age of the subjects, all 7 years old). That modest, black-and-white TV film was just the genesis of the experiment, for the ultimate plan was to revisit these youngsters every 7 years to interview them for a new installment of the series. Michael Apted, a researcher on the first film, took over as director for 7 Plus 7 in 1970 and has directed each film since (while keeping busy with popular fictional entertainments like Coal Miner’s Daughter and The World Is Not Enough). Every entry in the Up series has added to our understanding of what social and personal characteristics actually shape our destiny, mold character, and determine the kinds of adults that children will become. Not all of them fit our own definition of “success,” but it’s interesting to see how the children adapted to the world as they grew in maturity, awareness, and wisdom. Those children are now 56 years old. Over the years, they’ve experienced unemployment, divorce, poverty, depression, and illness. Viewers who have watched previous installments of the series will have deep attachments to Sue, Paul, Neil, Tony, Nick, Jackie, Lynn, Peter, John, Suzy, Charles, Andrew, Bruce, and Symon. Following them is like revisiting old friends. But even moviegoers who have never seen a previous Up film will have no difficulty jumping into this one. Each installment uses bits of previous interviews to give us a sense of each person’s journey when they talk about their lives today. The series has become such an ambitious, critically-acclaimed institution that it’s strange to think of it as one of the pioneers of today’s reality television. Most “reality” shows distort reality in order to create familiar narratives and conflicts, and turn real people into simplified caricatures. The Up series is one of the few programs that actually sticks to reality, letting the interview subjects speak for themselves and express their true personalities. Each new installment is an eagerly awaited event: thought-provoking, insightful, bittersweet, but ultimately inspiring.
Cinema NewsManhattan Short Presents Film of the Week. Each week the Festival Screens a Past Finalists Award Winning Film Online. Click here to watch the film short of the Week.
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Seniors/Students with valid ID: $7
*Please show SAC membership card to receive discount. R or MA rating requires purchase of ticket by parent or guardian of person under 17.