Thursday, October 7, 2010

Paul Almond

Paul Almond directed the first of the Up Series with Seven Up (1964), which documents an assortment of British children, rich and poor, urban and rural. The film is completely centered around the seven-year-olds. It has delightfully few images or voices of adults (and absolutely no parents) -- one reason why it is still a great watch. Michael Apted participated in making Seven Up and has since directed the every-seven-years follow-up documentaries, at ages 14, 21, 28, 35, 42, and 49. Are the 14 children in the films in the vanguard of "social media" sharing: were they the first of us to lose a certain basic privacy, with childhood images and growing pains permanently part of the public record? These days, anyone can expose their upbringing and lives with photo albums and constant self-documentation.
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Documentary Starts Here by Nancy Kalow is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.