When you were 7 and you wanted to be an astronaut who wore a cowboy hat and carried a revolver and had X-ray vision, you kind of knew it wouldn't happen. But you probably didn't know that someday, you'd be happy just to sleep in one day a week. Curdled ambition and shrinking scale lie at the heart of 49 Up, the seventh installment of a documentary that began in 1964 with a TV crew interviewing 14 British 7-year-olds. The 2005 chapter, which screens this afternoon at the Spencer Museum of Art on the University of Kansas campus (1301 Mississippi, Lawrence, 785-864-4710), finds the remaining participants in cinema's quietest ongoing experiment grappling with middle age. It's not the heiresses and islands of U.S. reality TV, but it's far less removed from workaday American personal and social concerns than, say, Ice Road Truckers. The fascinating earlier installments are available on DVD, but 49 Up works fine by itself. The movie complements the Spencer's ongoing Time/Frame exhibition, a multimedia study of how fine art and pop culture around the world depict all things temporal. Confront aging, regret and mortality in the Spencer's auditorium at 5:30 p.m. The exhibition ends December 14.
Thu., Sept. 18, 5:30 p.m., 2008