63 Up ***1/2
Neil Hughes in 63 Up
Michael Apted’s monumental documentary experiment—begun in 1964 with a handful of 7-year-old British children, whom he has subsequently followed every seven years—long ago became something bigger than any individual installment. So is there really a way to effectively assess those individual installments when they appear? The 13 remaining subjects provide the obligatory updates on their careers and families, reflecting at times on what it has meant to be part of this series and whether the initial premise—“show me the child at 7, and I’ll show you the man”—is more about personality, or about the constraints of the British class system. This time around, however, it’s hard to avoid the shadow of mortality hanging over our now 63-year-old participants, reflecting on the death of parents, chronic illness and the like. Audience members who have been following the subjects along with Apted will feel like they’re visiting again with old friends, perhaps even shedding a tear over seeing the full arc of childhood to old age, and realizing that these films have somehow become a chronicle of the simple experience of being human and living a life. Opens Jan. 3 at Broadway Centre Cinemas.
Reboot of a remake of a horror classic. Opens Jan. 3 at theaters valleywide.