Saturday, January 05, 2013

"I foolishly tried to play God once or twice...."

Michael Apted on 56 Up, the latest in a long-running series of documentaries following a group of British citizens he first met at age 7. (Filmmaker)
Filmmaker: Each film seems to have a distinct theme. In 21 Up they were about to embark on adulthood and that film seemed to be about uncertainty. In 35 Up many lost their parents and that film seemed to be about grief and mortality. Since you are a little older than the subjects and have perhaps lived through some of these life events before they have, do you anticipate these themes before shooting or do you find them while you’re editing?

Apted: Each film does have its own tone and that’s a reason to treat it separately. I absolutely don’t want to anticipate themes or guide them into predetermined territory. I foolishly tried to play God once or twice and make predictions about the future, but that was a serious misjudgment. The theme of 56 Up surprised me. I thought it might be maudlin, but it turned out quite differently. No spoiler here.

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