Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Food for thought

Michael Apted, director of the Up series, interviewed by Terry Gross:

What did surprise you about 56 Up?

Well, that people seemed happy. I mean, I thought they’d be getting depressed, worried about age, very worried about the economic climate, looking back on their lives, maybe sometimes with regret. But no, I mean, what was so interesting to me was that, you know, that a lot of them had found real kind of comfort in their families and their extended families.

I was of the belief in my life that you can’t have everything, you know, that I have pursued a career, I was ambitious, and I paid a price for it. I wasn’t as good a father or a husband as I should have been. And sometimes I thought, well, maybe that’s my way, and maybe that’s the right way. But then I saw the payoff, that people who’d put their energies into their families and their loyalties into their families, that at this age, in their mid-fifties, you know, they’ve got real pleasure and power from it.
Pleasure and power? I don’t really know what that means. Pleasure and sustenance? Yes. Gross goes on to ask whether the film’s subjects are really happy or just saying so for the camera. Sigh.

A related post

[My transcription.]

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