My friends, I have been saddened by a great many things recently. One of those things was the recent death of one of my favorite directors, Michael Apted. I have spoken of him before, he directed one of my Dad's favorite films, "Coal Miner's Daughter", which was the story of the country singer, Loretta Lynn. My father also grew up very poor and although he was from Georgia and not from Kentucky like Loretta Lynn, he grew up in a house very similar to the one that was shown in the film. (He even talked like her, "ever day, he would not say, not "every day".) I believe that he was often ridiculed by others. "Hillbilly" was one of the names that he would have been called. Michael Apted was able to show the life story of Loretta Lynn with great respect. It is this that I think my Dad appreciated the most. Besides enjoying the story itself, he really did love music and the background story behind songwriters. Hey, that sounds a bit like me, doesn't it?
Michael Apted directed many other films and I urge you to seek them out but before he made these movies, he made a documentary in the early 1960's called "7 Up". Have you seen it? In Britain, fourteen children were interviewed at the age of seven, ten boys and four girls. (He later wished he had included more girls.) Oh, I just looked this up and Michael Apted was quite young in 1964, he was one of the researchers and was one of those who helped to choose the children. For every seven years after that, Michael Apted was the director. There were nine episodes and they were titled as follows:
Seven Plus Seven
I have seen them all except that last one and I do hope to see that one soon.
I find it fascinating that Michael Apted filmed this every seven years and I can only imagine what it must have been like for the fourteen individuals to have had their lives played out on a screen. Still, I think they saw that Michael Apted treated them with respect. In fact, from what I have read, they considered him a friend.
Now, I suppose most people might get into a deep discussion about the class system in Britain and how the socio economics of one's background factors into how they turn out in life. Me, I let others judge things like that, I simply liked learning of these 14 different people. They are almost exactly the same age as I am, and although they are British, I was surprised to feel so at home with them all.
Michael Apted received the Peabody Award for his work on 7 Up.
The Peabody Award is given to honor the most powerful, enlightening and invigorating stories. Yes, I think that was well deserved.
Really missing England. Didn't get to visit in 2020, of course.
Hopefully, we will be able to this year...
Here's some music for you all!