Archival Program Information
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Discussion and Screenings

Michael Apted / Photo: Keith Hamshere, courtesy First Run Features
Conversation and selected clips of the director's work
Friday, November 15, 2002
7:30 p.m.
Harold M. Williams Auditorium

Michael Apted is one of those rare filmmakers who is equally at home directing big budget Hollywood features and small, thoughtful documentaries. Creator of well-known films like Enigma and The World is Not Enough, Apted is best known for his highly regarded series 7 Up, in which he has chronicled the lives of a group of British subjects for 35 years, revisiting them every seven years since 1963. As they grow from seven-year-old children into adulthood, their lives unfold before our eyes. The series is a form of cinematic anthropology; there is no filmic equivalent in its longevity or scope. It is not only a long-running commentary on the British class system, but it has become a mirror of what a life is like while it is being lived.

A focus on life stories is central to much of the Apted's work. Along with the biographical features Coal Miner's Daughter and Gorillas in the Mist, he has also made documentaries on the lives of scientists and artists, including Me and Isaac Newton and Inspirations, which profiles seven contemporary artists at work. An 80 - minute segment from 42 Up, the most recent installment of Apted's series on British life, will be digitally projected along with selected clips from Apted's other films. A discussion with the director will follow.

The Getty Research Institute

The Getty Research Institute exists to bring together all the resources and activities required to advance understanding of the visual arts taken in their widest possible significance. Each year since 1985 the Research Institute has invited scholars and artists from around the world to work in residence at the Getty and pursue individual projects related to a theme of timely importance in the study of the visual arts. In 2002–2003 the theme is "Biography." As the first installment in the Biography film series "Fragmented Lives," the conversation with Michael Apted addresses specifically the filmmaker's challenge to depict lives on screen and, in the process, explore alternatives to the standard Hollywood biopic.