15 April 2015
From the section Entertainment & Arts
Paul Almond directed many films and television shows before writing the Alford Saga historical novels
Paul Almond, the Canadian director behind the groundbreaking Seven Up! documentary, about a group of British children, has died aged 83.
The 1964 television documentary later gave birth to the Up series, which has followed the children into middle age at seven year intervals.
Almond, who helped come up with the original idea before Michael Apted took it on, died on Thursday in California.
His son Matthew said the cause was complications of a recent heart attack.
Seven Up! examined the British class system through the eyes of 14 British seven-year-olds from a range of different socio-economic groups.
The 40 minute black and white film featured Almond asking 10 boys and four girls a series of questions about family, class, religion, happiness, love and their adult aspirations.
He and a Granada producer Tim Hewat came up with the idea in an English pub where they had been chatting about the class system.
Hewat is said to have uttered the quote: “Give me a child until he is seven and I will give you the man,” supposedly originated by the founder of the Jesuits, St Ignatius Loyola.
The film was originally intended as a one-off and Almond returned to Canada where he directed many films and TV programmes, as well as writing novels.
Apted – who was a researcher on the original film – decided to revisit the children every seven years, and went on to direct 7 Plus Seven (1970) and 21 Up (1977) right through the the most recent film 56 Up in 2012, seeing the children through jobs, marriage and parenthood.
They included Cockney lad Tony, who became a jockey and then a cab driver; Suzy, a girl from a privileged background who became a wife and …read more
Source:: BBC Entertainment