1964 — Michael Apted started making the most profound documentary series in the history of cinema


Dan Winters/NY Times

Apted, now 78, is ready to wrap it up.

To spend time with a child is to dwell under the terms of an uneasy truce between the possibility of the present and the inevitability of the future. Our deepest hope for the children we love is that they will enjoy the liberties of an open-ended destiny, that their desires will be given the free play they deserve, that the circumstances of their birth and upbringing will be felt as opportunities rather than encumbrances; our greatest fear is that they will feel thwarted by forces beyond their control…

❝ These are the tensions that have animated and shaped the “Up” programs on their way to becoming the longest-running documentary film series of all time…The first film was conceived as a special one-off episode of a program called “World in Action.” The mid-1950s saw an end to the BBC’s monopoly on terrestrial broadcasting, and “World in Action” became the flagship current-affairs program of a Manchester-based commercial upstart called Granada Television.

RTFA. I’ll not try to knock-off a precis of this documentary. It has stepped back into the lives of the children every seven years for about five edited minutes each time. It is the record of a changing society.

Trump wants to add War Crime Bubbas to GOP re-election campaign

❝…After interfering with military justice in the case of Eddie Gallagher, and issuing pardons to Clint Lorance and Matthew Golsteyn, the president has reportedly been suggesting to allies that he’d like all three to become a fixture of his 2020 campaign…critics, including some military members and veterans, have suggested the pardons are a slap in the face to those who have served honorably and give soldiers carte blanche to commit heinous acts…

Trump clearly believes that campaigning with people like Gallagher—whose own ranks accused him of gunning down civilians, threatening to shoot other SEALs if they reported him, and stabbing a detainee to death—will help his reelection prospects. In the case of his base, he might be right…

I expect nothing less than obedience to their master’s voice from repeat Trump voters. Honesty, historic American values, the rule of law – all mean nothing to Trump’s “little people”. Followers of a hero without merit, courage, intelligence or principle. I’m afraid what most of them want is soothing syrup to coat their bigotry and fear.