Michael Apted

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Michael Apted

Michael Apted at the 72nd Annual Peabody Awards (cropped).jpg
Apted in 2013
Born
Michael David Apted

(1941-02-10)10 February 1941
Died7 January 2021(2021-01-07) (aged 79)
EducationCity of London School
Downing College, Cambridge
OccupationFilm director
Years active1963每2019
Spouse(s)Jo Apted (divorced)
Dana Stevens (divorced)
Paige Simpson
(m. 2014)
Children4, including Paul Apted

Michael David Apted, CMG (10 February 1941 每 7 January 2021) was a British director, producer, writer and actor. One of the most prolific English film directors of his generation, he is known for directing the Up series (1964每2019), the James Bond film The World Is Not Enough (1999), and the American film Coal Miner's Daughter (1980). The last was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture. He also directed Nell (1994), which received three Golden Globe Award nominations and one Academy Award nomination, and the critically-acclaimed films Gorillas in the Mist (1988) and Enigma (2001).

On 29 June 2003, he was elected president of the Directors' Guild of America,[1] a position he served until 2009.[2]

Apted directed Amazing Grace, which premiered at the closing of the Toronto International Film Festival in 2006.[3] He was appointed a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) in the 2008 Birthday Honours.[4]

Early life[edit]

Apted was born in 1941 in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, as the son of Frances Amelia (n谷e Thomas) and Ronald William Apted.[5][6]

Career[edit]

Television[edit]

He began his career in television as a six-months trainee at Granada Television in Manchester, where he worked as a researcher. One of his first projects at Granada would become his best known: the Up series, which began in 1964 as a profile of 14 seven-year-old children for the current affairs series World in Action. As a researcher and assistant to Canadian director Paul Almond, Apted was involved in selecting the children, who came from a variety of backgrounds and classes.[7] Though originally conceived as a one-off documentary, the series has become an institution. When it was suggested that they revisit the subjects at ages fourteen and twenty one, Apted accepted the offer to direct and directed every subsequent episode in the series.[7] It explores Apted's thesis that the British class system remains largely in place. It studies the participants based on the Jesuit motto "Give me a child until he is seven and I will show you the man",[8] looking at how they develop during their lives, compared to when they were seven. The series looks at the lives of these people over the years; the latest installment, 63 Up, was produced in 2019.[9][10] It won a Peabody Award in 2012 "for its creator*s patience and its subjects' humanity."[11]

During his seven-year period of working at Granada, Apted also directed a number of episodes of Coronation Street,[12] then written by Jack Rosenthal, among others. Apted and Rosenthal later collaborated on a number of popular television and film projects, including the pilot episodes for The Dustbinmen[13] and The Lovers.[14] They worked together again in 1982 for the TV movie P'tang, Yang, Kipperbang,[15] the first film commissioned by Britain's Channel 4. In 1976 Apted directed a play in the Granada TV series Laurence Olivier Presents. The episode was The Collection by Harold Pinter. The play starred Laurence Olivier, Malcolm McDowell, Alan Bates and Helen Mirren.[16]

Apted used his idea from the Up series a second time in Married in America and Married in America 2. The idea was to interview nine married couples every two years over a ten year period to tell a more complete story of their marriages.[17] In 2005, he directed the first three episodes of the TV series Rome.[18]

For his work in television, Apted won several British Academy Awards, including two Flaherty Documentary Awards for his work on 28 Up and 35 Up and a BAFTA for Best Dramatic Director for the single play Kisses at Fifty in 1974.[19]

Film[edit]

Apted made his first feature film in 1972, The Triple Echo, starring Oliver Reed and Glenda Jackson, and he directed two films for David Puttnam. The Triple Echo was entered into the 8th Moscow International Film Festival.[37] He alternated this work with working on the TV series Play for Today. He directed six plays including Stronger than the Sun, written by Stephen Poliakoff and starring Francesca Annis as a young woman who places her life in danger to expose a crime, a theme Apted returned to several times.[38][12]

In 1979 he directed the Hollywood-financed Agatha, featuring Vanessa Redgrave.[39] The majority of Apted's feature films since then were based around a female protagonist. He went to the United States in 1980, where he directed Coal Miner's Daughter,[22] which received seven Academy Award nominations, winning best actress for Sissy Spacek.[40] Both Spacek and Loretta Lynn, the subject of the film, have said that they believe Apted's outsider point of view was crucial to the movie's success in securing the participation of Appalachian residents and to the avoidance of stereotypes that previously had marred portrayals of mountain culture.[41][42] In 2019, Coal Miner's Daughter was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".[43]

Apted also made several films with a strong social message or that deal with an ethical dilemma. In 1983 he directed Gorky Park, a political thriller based on the novel by Martin Cruz Smith, that deals with police corruption in the former Soviet Union.[44] Class Action deals with a corporate whistleblower,[45] and Extreme Measures is about medical ethics.[46] Class Action was entered into the 17th Moscow International Film Festival.[47]

In 1994, he directed Nell, which received three Golden Globe Award nominations[48] and one Academy Award nomination.[49]

In 1999, Apted directed the James Bond film The World Is Not Enough.[50]

Documentary[edit]

In addition to feature films, Apted continued directing documentaries, including Bring on the Night, a feature-length concert film about the making of Sting's first solo album.[52] He directed the documentary The Long Way Home, which was released in 1989. It chronicled the UK, US and USSR adventures of Boris Grebenshchikov, the first Soviet underground musician allowed to record in the West.[53]

Before the making of Thunderheart, Apted made the documentary Incident at Oglala about Leonard Peltier. Incident at Oglala then informed Thunderheart in the casting of actors for the fiction film.[54]

In 1997, he explored the creative process in Inspirations through candid discussion with seven artists from diverse media, including David Bowie, Louise Lecavalier and Roy Lichtenstein among others.[55]

In a departure from his earlier work, from 1992 to 1994, Apted ventured into China's rapidly changing popular culture. In a project backed by Trudie Styler, Apted directed Moving the Mountain, a feature documentary which probed the origins of the 1989 protests in Tiananmen Square and the consequences of the movement in the lives of several of the movement's student leaders.[56]

In 2006, Apted co-directed The Official Film of the 2006 FIFA World Cup, narrated by Pierce Brosnan.[57]

Apted was the collaborator and subject of the documentary: Michael Apted 每 Visions on Film, by artist and filmmaker Melinda Camber Porter.[58]

Theatre[edit]

In 1977, Apted directed the premiere of Strawberry Fields at the National Theatre in London.

Personal life[edit]

Michael Apted in 2007

Apted married Paige Simpson, his third wife, in January 2014.[59] Apted was divorced from his second wife of ten years, the screenwriter Dana Stevens, with whom he had a son, John.[60] From his first marriage to Jo, Apted he had two sons, Paul and Jim. Paul Apted was a sound editor who worked on movies such as The Wolverine; he died from colon cancer in 2014.[61] In 2007 Apted became a father for the fourth time to a girl, Lily Mellis Apted, who lives with her mother Tania Mellis.[59]

He served as president of the Directors Guild of America from 2003 to 2009 and served as the secretary-treasurer from 2011 to his death.[2]

Apted died at his home in Los Angeles on 7 January 2021, at the age of 79.[6][62][63]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Michael Apted Elected DGA President; New National Board, Slate of Officers Also Chosen" (Press release). Directors Guild of America. Business Wire. 29 June 2003. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  2. ^ a b "Michael Apted (1941-2021) - Visual History Interview". Directors Guild of America. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  3. ^ Kumar, Matthew (22 August 2006). "Toronto International Film Festival 2006: Everything Announced". Torontoist. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  4. ^ "No. 58729". The London Gazette (Supplement). 14 June 2008. p. 2.
  5. ^ "Michael Apted Biography (1941-)". www.filmreference.com.
  6. ^ a b Genzlinger, Neil (8 January 2021). "Michael Apted, Versatile Director Known for 'Up' Series, Dies at 79". The New York Times. Retrieved 8 January 2021.
  7. ^ a b "Michael Apted's Flawed but Brilliant Epic of British Socail Life". The Nation. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  8. ^ Weeratunga, Jann. ""Give me a child until he is seven and I will show you the man." 每 The Schools Reading Road Show". Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  9. ^ Haddou, Jihane (8 January 2021). "Give Me the Child Until He Is Seven and I Will Give You the Man". Medium. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  10. ^ "Michael Apted, Director Of The 'Up' Documentary Series, Dies At 79". NPR.org. 8 January 2021. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  11. ^ Annual Peabody Awards, May 2013.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Michael Apted". TV.com. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  13. ^ "The Dustbinmen: There's a Hole in Your Dustbin, Delilah". TV.com. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  14. ^ Duguid, Mark. "Lovers, The (1970每71)". BFI Screenonline. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  15. ^ "P'tang, Yang, Kipperbang. (1982)". BFI. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  16. ^ "Michael Apted, Director of 'Coal Miner's Daughter' and 'Up' Series of Documentaries, Dies at 79". Variety. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  17. ^ "Keeping a watchful eye on love, commitment / Michael Apted's 'Married in America' to trace nine couples over 10 years". SFGate.com. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  18. ^ The three first episodes were:
    • "Rome: The Stolen Eagle". TV.com. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
    • "Rome: How Titus Pullo Brought Down the Republic". TV.com. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
    • "Rome: An Owl in a Thornbush". TV.com. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  19. ^ "BAFTA Awards". BAFTA. Retrieved 8 January 2021.
  20. ^ Reuters Staff (9 January 2021). "'Up' documentary maker Michael Apted dies at 79". Reuters. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  21. ^ "Michael Apted, director of James Bond, Narnia & more, passes away at 79". Syfy.com. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  22. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac "Michael Apted". BFI. Retrieved 8 January 2021.
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  25. ^ "Your Name's Not God, It's Edgar (1968)". BFI. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  26. ^ "Big Breadwinner Hog". Television Heaven. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  27. ^ "Another Sunday and Sweet F.A. (1972)". BFI Screenonline. Retrieved 24 April 2013.
  28. ^ "Another Sunday and Sweet F.A. (1972)". BFI. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  29. ^ "The Destructors (1975)". BFI. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  30. ^ "The Collection (1976)". BFI. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  31. ^ Fall 1992 Preview:Saturday, Ew.com, retrieved 9 January 2021
  32. ^ Always Outnumbered (1998). Rotten Tomatoes, retrieved 9 January 2021
  33. ^ Hart, Hugh (16 June 2002). "Keeping a watchful eye on love, commitment / Michael Apted's 'Married in America' to trace nine couples over 10 years". SFGATE. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  34. ^ "The Futon's First Look: "Hallelujah" (ABC)". The Futon Critic. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  35. ^ Reckless. Rotten Tomatoes, retrieved 9 January 2021
  36. ^ Tallerico, Brian (30 May 2017). "Bloodline Recap: Hard Truths". Vulture. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  37. ^ a b "8th Moscow International Film Festival (1973)". MIFF. Archived from the original on 16 January 2013. Retrieved 3 January 2013.
  38. ^ "Stronger than the Sun (1977)". BFI. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  39. ^ Agatha (1979) 每 Michael Apted | Synopsis, Characteristics, Moods, Themes and Related | AllMovie, retrieved 9 January 2021
  40. ^ "The 53rd Academy Awards | 1981". Oscars.org | Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  41. ^ Sissy Spacek and Michael Apted. Feature commentary track, Coal Miner's Daughter 25th Anniversary/Collector's Edition, 2005.
  42. ^ Interview with Loretta Lynn and Michael Apted. Featurette on Coal Miner's Daughter 25th Anniversary/Collector's Edition DVD, 2005.
  43. ^ Chow, Andrew R. (11 December 2019). "See the 25 New Additions to the National Film Registry, From Purple Rain to Clerks". Time. New York, NY. Retrieved 11 December 2019.
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  45. ^ Class Action (1991) 每 Michael Apted | Synopsis, Characteristics, Moods, Themes and Related | AllMovie, retrieved 9 January 2021
  46. ^ "Extreme Measures". Radio Times. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  47. ^ "17th Moscow International Film Festival (1991)". MIFF. Archived from the original on 3 April 2014. Retrieved 2 March 2013.
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  49. ^ "The 67th Academy Awards | 1995". Oscars.org | Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
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  52. ^ Maslin, Janet (8 November 1985). "Screen: Sting in 'Bring on the Night'". The New York Times. p. C12. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  53. ^ Ellis, Lucy (16 December 2009). Annie Lennox: The Biography. Omnibus Press. ISBN 9780857121141.
  54. ^ ."Incident at Ogala: The Leonard Peltier Story". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  55. ^ "Inspirations". DVDTalk.com. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  56. ^ "Film Review:Moving the Mountain: Upheaval in China". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  57. ^ "Film producer lists at Byron". The Sunday Telegraph. Sydney. 29 April 2018. Retrieved 9 January 2020.
  58. ^ "Michael Apted, English director". MelindaCamberPorter.com. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  59. ^ a b Dagan, Carmel (8 January 2021). "Michael Apted, Director of 'Coal Miner's Daughter' and 'Up' Series of Documentaries, Dies at 79". Variety. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  60. ^ "Filmmaker Dana Stevens Balances Motherhood, Movie-Making & Her New CBS Show Reckless". Tinseltown Mom. 23 June 2014. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  61. ^ Hayden, Erik; Barnes, Mike (5 July 2014). "Paul Apted, Sound Editor and Son of Director Michael Apted, Dies at 47". The Hollywood Reporter.
  62. ^ Welk, Brian. "Michael Apted, Director of 'Up' Documentaries and 'Coal Miner's Daughter,' Dies at 79". The Wrap. Retrieved 8 January 2021.
  63. ^ D'Zurilla, Christie. "Michael Apted, '7 Up' director and three-time DGA president, dies at 79". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 8 January 2021.

External links[edit]