1. Filmmaker Michael Apted of the Up series talks to Fresh Air about examining the British culture and class system through the lives of 14 children of different backgrounds over the last 50 years:

"[T]he idea was that we would get some 7-year-old children from different backgrounds — from rich backgrounds, from poor backgrounds, from rural backgrounds … and have them talk about their lives … and see whether that told us anything. And of course it did, because it was both very funny and also chilling, showing that, in fact, the class system was very active, and that people in certain backgrounds had a real vision of their future, and others really didn’t know what day it was."

image courtesy of LA Times View in High-Res

    Filmmaker Michael Apted of the Up series talks to Fresh Air about examining the British culture and class system through the lives of 14 children of different backgrounds over the last 50 years:

    "[T]he idea was that we would get some 7-year-old children from different backgrounds — from rich backgrounds, from poor backgrounds, from rural backgrounds … and have them talk about their lives … and see whether that told us anything. And of course it did, because it was both very funny and also chilling, showing that, in fact, the class system was very active, and that people in certain backgrounds had a real vision of their future, and others really didn’t know what day it was."

    image courtesy of LA Times

  2. fresh air

    interview

    michael apted

    7 up series

    up series

    56 up

    british culture

    british class system

  1. When twenty-one-year-old Tony, the working-class would-be jockey turned taxi-driver, declares to Apted, “All I understand is dogs, prices, girls, knowledge, roads, streets, squares, mum and dad, and love. That’s all I understand; that’s all I want to understand,” it doesn’t just sound a bit like Keats; it makes as much sense, in its own way.

    — 

    Rebecca Mead on the ‘7 Up’ series in the New Yorker.

    Terry spoke with the series’ director, Michael Apted, last Tuesday.

  2. Fresh Air

    Interviews

    7 Up Series

    Michael Apted

    Rebecca Mead

    New Yorker

    56 Up

  1. Our guests on this week’s Fresh Air Weekend are Bradley Cooper, who’s been nominated for an Academy Award for his performance in Silver Linings Playbook, and Michael Apted, the director of the ‘Up’ series of documentaries.

    Up top, you can check out the cool billboard (that’s our name for the mini-commercial you hear at the very beginning of the show) that Fresh Air Weekend producer, John Sheehan cooked up for this week. 

  2. Fresh Air Weekend

    Bradley Cooper

    Michael Apted

    Silver Linings Playbook

    Up

  1. Nick Hitchon tells Terry Gross why he doesn’t watch the “Up” films:

I don’t like the sound of my own voice. I think I look ridiculous and I just am uncomfortable. … If I say that I am uncomfortable with this, it doesn’t mean that I don’t like the project and it doesn’t mean that I am mad at Michael, but I am deeply uncomfortable doing the interviews. I pretend while I’m being interviewed that it’s just a chat. I pretend to myself that nobody else is watching and I don’t want that particular bubble burst.

Image courtesy of First Run Features View in High-Res

    Nick Hitchon tells Terry Gross why he doesn’t watch the “Up” films:

    I don’t like the sound of my own voice. I think I look ridiculous and I just am uncomfortable. … If I say that I am uncomfortable with this, it doesn’t mean that I don’t like the project and it doesn’t mean that I am mad at Michael, but I am deeply uncomfortable doing the interviews. I pretend while I’m being interviewed that it’s just a chat. I pretend to myself that nobody else is watching and I don’t want that particular bubble burst.

    Image courtesy of First Run Features

  2. Fresh Air

    Interviews

    Nick Hitchon

    Michael Apted

    7 Up Series

    56 Up

  1. Michael Apted tells Terry Gross what the experience of making the 7 Up Series for so long has been like for him: 

What can I say? I mean, it’s the favorite thing I’ve ever done the thing, I’m most proud of. It’s nerve-wracking because you think you’re always going to blow it and you’ll wreck the whole thing. It seems fragile and I’ve learned a lot of lessons about it. I’ve made mistakes on it and had to correct those mistakes. You know, particularly I got into a situation, I think, early on where I became judgmental about people, that if they didn’t agree with my standards of success, failure, happiness, whatever, then, you know, I would feel they were the lesser for it, and also I try to play God. I try to predict what might happen to people and sort of set it all up for that, and I did that and that was an embarrassing mistake and I think what I’ve learned all the way through is the less I do the better.

Image courtesy of First Run Features View in High-Res

    Michael Apted tells Terry Gross what the experience of making the 7 Up Series for so long has been like for him:

    What can I say? I mean, it’s the favorite thing I’ve ever done the thing, I’m most proud of. It’s nerve-wracking because you think you’re always going to blow it and you’ll wreck the whole thing. It seems fragile and I’ve learned a lot of lessons about it. I’ve made mistakes on it and had to correct those mistakes. You know, particularly I got into a situation, I think, early on where I became judgmental about people, that if they didn’t agree with my standards of success, failure, happiness, whatever, then, you know, I would feel they were the lesser for it, and also I try to play God. I try to predict what might happen to people and sort of set it all up for that, and I did that and that was an embarrassing mistake and I think what I’ve learned all the way through is the less I do the better.

    Image courtesy of First Run Features

  2. Fresh Air

    Interviews

    Michael Apted

    7 Up Series

    56 Up

  1. Above is part of the first 7 Up series from 1964. The series is an English documentary that has followed the same set of people throughout their lives, catching up with them every seven years and thus creating an unprecedented look at everyday lives over the course of lifetimes. The most recent in the series — 56 Up — is out and today on the show, Terry talks to the series’ director, Michael Apted.

  2. 7 Up Series

    Michael Apted

    Fresh Air

    On today's schedule...