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Out in Theaters: ‘EVERYBODY WANTS SOME!!’

There’s a moment in Richard Linklater’s Everybody Wants Some where four collegiate athletes hover around an overstuffed bong, listening to the psychedelic crackle of Led Zeppelin, competing to see who can take the biggest bong rip.  It’s an indisputably Linklater moment, one that speaks to the essence of the Austin filmmaker’s disco baseball comedy that forces one to meditate on what friendship and camaraderie meant before the advent of cell phones. There is an enviable sense of authentic connection found in this communal stoned passage, one that finds itself increasingly diluted by distraction in modern day conversation, that’s undercut by an overarching spirit of competition. Community and competition – two forces that rally to make Linklater’s latest film a low key, nostalgiacore home run. Read More

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SXSW ’16 Review: ‘EVERYBODY WANTS SOME!!’

There’s a moment in Richard Linklater’s Everybody Wants Some where four collegiate athletes hover around an overstuffed bong, listening to the psychedelic crackle of Led Zeppelin, competing to see who can take the biggest bong rip.  It’s an indisputably Linklater moment, one that speaks to the essence of the Austin filmmaker’s disco baseball comedy that forces one to meditate on what friendship and camaraderie meant before the advent of cell phones. There is an enviable sense of authentic connection found in this communal stoned passage, one that finds itself increasingly diluted by distraction in modern day conversation, that’s undercut by an overarching spirit of competition. Community and competition – two forces that rally to make Linklater’s latest film a low key, nostalgiacore home run. Read More

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First Trailer for Richard Linklater’s ‘EVERYBODY WANTS SOME’

Previously titled That’s What I’m Talking About, Richard Linklater‘s 80s college baseball comedy-drama Everybody Wants Some saw its first trailer hit the internet tonight. The film, opening in theaters on April 15, 2016 but premiering a month before at the 2016 SXSW Film Festival, stars Blake Jenner, Ryan Guzman, Tyler Hoechlin, Wyatt Russell and Zoey Deutch. Linklater has called the film a “spiritual sequel” to his 1993 cult classic Dazed and Confused and a natural follow-up to Boyhood which followed the story of Mason from age six up until his first days at college. Read More

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Director Face/Off: Wes Anderson Vs. Richard Linklater (Part Five – Their Other Stuff)

Desktop
Wes Anderson
and Richard Linklater –prominent writer/directors, Texas natives (both have roots in Houston) and coincidentally my two favorite humans. Their latest films were nominated for Best Motion Picture this year and, delving further, their careers have evolved at very similar rates, humbly paving the quaint dirt road that was the indie film scene in the ‘90s with
Slacker and Bottle Rocket. Onward, they transitioned to tastemakers, acquiring cult followings with Dazed and Confused and The Royal Tenenbaums. With each film Anderson and Linklater make, their toolbox gets a little bigger without compromising their eclectic and pridefully offbeat styles, one vastly different from the other, yet hauntingly similar. Which leads to the question, who does it better?

In past Face/Offs, we’ve pitted directors Anderson and Linklater against each other, comparing their very best films, their tried-and-true indie gems. This week we’re taking a slight departure from the directors’ most known work, to their little known work, or at least less known. In this final installment to pit Anderson against Linklater, we ask “Who does other stuff better?” Read More

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Director Face/Off: Wes Anderson Vs. Richard Linklater (Part Four – Memorable Quotes)

WesVsDick4
Wes Anderson
and Richard Linklater –prominent writer/directors, Texas natives (both have roots in Houston) and coincidentally my two favorite humans. Their latest films were nominated for Best Motion Picture this year and, delving further, their careers have evolved at very similar rates, humbly paving the quaint dirt road that was the indie film scene in the ‘90s with
Slacker and Bottle Rocket. Onward, they transitioned to tastemakers, acquiring cult followings with Dazed and Confused and The Royal Tenenbaums. With each film Anderson and Linklater make, their toolbox gets a little bigger without compromising their eclectic and pridefully offbeat styles, one vastly different from the other, yet hauntingly similar. Which leads to the question, who does it better?

Wes Anderson’s oh-so-deadpan characters spout off some wise, sometimes just straight up madcap tidings, whereas Linklater’s characters go for the gold with philosophical revelations even too deep for Tiny Buddha, and one-liners that end up on t-shirts. Let’s compare the two directors’ most memorable quotes.

Battle 4: Memorable Quotes

Round One:

Swordsasda

“That’s what I love about these high school girls, man. I get older, they stay the same age.”
Linklater – Dazed and Confused

“Why would a reviewer make the point of saying someone’s *not* a genius? Do you especially think I’m *not* a genius? You didn’t even have to think about it, did you?”
Anderson – The Royal Tenenbaums

In Dazed and Confused, David Wooderson is a grown-up loser who still hangs out with high school kids. In The Royal Tenenbaums, Eli is a self-absorbed author of western books and also an endearing stalker who hangs out in closets wearing only his underwear. His prose is truly hilarious, as we discover when he reads an excerpt at a press conference: “And they rode on in the friscalating dusklight . . .” Both memorable characters, but Wooderson’s wacky wisdom lives on forever in frat houses across the world.

Winner: Linklater/ Dazed and Confused

Round Two:

ElectricGuitarfish

“I have been touched by your kids… and I’m pretty sure that I’ve touched them.”
Linklater – School of Rock
“I’ve never seen so many electric jellyfish in all my life!”
Anderson – The Life Aquatic

Both School of Rock and The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou have ample amounts of hilarious, memorable quotes. Nothing beats that awkward moment at the parent-teacher conference when Dewey Finn says that perverted quote without even realizing. Ned Plimpton, in his nasally, southern accent-y voice, declares his quotes in a state of enamored fascination. Quotability, in my opinion, is based on if you can shout an obscure quote at a dinner party totally out of context and have people laugh, rather than stare are you questioningly.

Winner: Anderson/ The Life Aquatic

Round Three:

MaxFishcering

“You know how everyone’s always saying seize the moment? I don’t know, I’m kind of thinking it’s the other way around, you know, like the moment seizes us.”
Linklater – Boyhood

“I saved Latin. What did you ever do?”
Anderson – Rushmore

Linklater’s most recent coming of age opus Boyhood is ripe with wisdom and heartfelt realizations. So is Anderson’s Rushmore, which follows a confused kid as he gets caught up in an obsession with a teacher at his school. I could be biased here, since I’ve been quoting Rushmore avidly for years, but there is just so much angst-filled honesty in Max Fischer, such vulnerable truth.

Winner: Anderson/ Rushmore

Subjective Winner: Wes Anderson’s Quotes are Better

———————————————————————————————————————————————–

Join us next week for the next Wes/Dick showdown and check out prior segments:

Battle #1: Reuse of Actors
Battle #2: Locations
Battle #3: Music

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Director Face/Off: Anderson vs. Linklater (Round One – Reusing Actors)

RichvWesP1
Wes Anderson
and Richard Linklater –prominent writer/directors, Texas natives (both have roots in Houston) and coincidentally my two favorite humans. Their latest films were nominated for Best Motion Picture this year and, delving further, their careers have evolved at very similar rates, humbly paving the quaint dirt road that was the indie film scene in the ‘90s with Slacker and Bottle Rocket. Onward, they transitioned to tastemakers, acquiring cult followings with Dazed and Confused and The Royal Tenenbaums. With each film Anderson and Linklater make, their toolbox gets a little bigger without compromising their eclectic and pridefully offbeat styles, one vastly different from the other, yet hauntingly similar. Which leads to the question, who does it better?

Read More

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Talking With Richard Linklater of BOYHOOD

I made no secret of my admiration for director Richard Linklater. Over the course of 25 years, the self-taught auteur has been responsible for some of the finest, most human pieces of film to grace the silver screen. From his hauntingly perfect Before series to his most recent – and most ambitious – masterpiece Boyhood, Linklater is not a guy who plays by the rules. Where traditional films zig, Linklater zags. Read More

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2013 Silver Screen Riot Awards

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With the majority of 2013 awards winding down and the Oscars gearing up for next month, it’s time for me to reflect on the best parts about last year’s films. I’ve already published my top ten list alongside the absolute worst movies of the year but with these awards, I focus on the performances, direction, music, scene work and artistry of 2013.

At first, I tried to pigeonhole five nominees into each category but found that didn’t give me enough leeway to recognize all the talent I wanted to. When I then expanded to ten, it felt like there were times where I would be putting names down to fill up spots and didn’t really work for me either. So, instead of making an arbitrary number of nominees for each category, I opted to just recognize as many people as I saw fit in each category. So while the best actor category has 11 names of note, best foreign film only had 6 nominees and so forth. I know a lot of these may see overlap with other award nominations but I tried to recognize talent from all walks,  the old to the new, and award what stood out as my personal favorites.

Look out for a short breakdown in the actors and directors sections but the other categories speak for themselves.

Best Actor:

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WINNER: Leonardo DiCaprio ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’
Runner Up: Christian Bale ‘Out of the Furance’ & ‘American Hustle’
Honorable Mention: Ethan Hawke ‘Before Midnight’

Also:
Matthew McConaughey ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ & ‘Mud’
Joaquin Phoenix ‘Her’
Mads Mikkelsen ‘The Hunt’
Chiwetel Elijofor ’12 Years a Slave’
Bruce Dern ‘Nebraska’
Tom Hanks ‘Captain Phillips’
Michael B. Jordan ‘Fruitvale Station’

It’s no secret that I’m a big Leonardo DiCaprio fan and it’s performances like his in The Wolf of Wall Street that earns him such a high ranking amongst my favorite working actors. With manic physicality, hypnotizing stage presence and wonderfully potent comedic timing, his take on amoral but lovin’ it Jordan Belfort is a role to remember. Christian Bale did wonders in Out of the Furnace and, even though I wasn’t head over heels for American Hustle, his performance there was nothing to balk at and one of the strongest features of the film. The most underrated performance of the year is Ethan Hawke who embodied humanity and boyish charm in my favorite film of the year Before Midnight. The film rests squarely on his and Julie Delpy‘s compotent shoulders and had their performances been any less, the impact wouldn’t have been nearly what it was. 

Best Supporting Actor:

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WINNER: Jared Leto ‘Dallas Buyers Club’
Runner Up: Jonah Hill ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’

Honorable Mention:  Geoffrey Rush ‘The Book Thief’

Also:
Woody Harrelson ‘Out of the Furnace’
Michael Fassbender ’12 Years a Slave’
Barkhad Abdi ‘Captain Phillips’
Ben Foster ‘Lone Survivor’
Daniel Bruhl ‘Rush’
Matthew McConaughey ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’
Alexander Skaarsgard ‘What Maisie Knew’

Another crowded category, I had to go with a somewhat calculated choice, a man more than likely to win at the Academy Awards this year, Jared Leto. His performance, almost moreso than Matthew McConaughey‘s, grounds the heartbreaking tale of Dallas Buyers Club and brings humanity to those that are too often dehumanized. On the other side of the coin, Jonah Hill was a riot in The Wolf of Wall Street and between his introductory scene and subsequent cousin soliloquy and the unhinged energy he brings to the Lemmons scene, his is one of the most unforgettable performances of the year. Another under-appreciated role takes my honorable mention slot with Geoffrey Rush‘s lovely performance in the otherwise forgettable The Book Thief. Rush is an acting giant and watching him effortlessly capture our sympathy just goes to show his monumental range.

Best Actress:

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WINNER: Meryl Streep ‘August: Osage County’
Runner Up: Julie Delpy ‘Before Midnight’
Honorable Mention: Scarlett Johansson ‘Her’

Also:
Cate Blanchett ‘Blue Jasmine’
Brie Larson ‘Short Term 12’
Judi Dench ‘Philomena’
Adele Exarchopoulos ‘Blue is the Warmest Color’
Shailene Woodley ‘The Spectacular Now’
Greta Gerwig ‘Frances Ha’
Emma Thompson ‘Saving Mr. Banks’

I know Cate Blanchett is the name on everyone’s lips right now and there’s no denying that her performance is a showstopper but, for me, was not quite the most impressive of the year. Speaking of cinematic giants, I just couldn’t help but give my top award to Meryl Streep for her poisonous performance in the ensemble drama August: Osage County. Streep is a chameleon and we’re used to seeing her, for the most part, play loveable roles so seeing her transform into an utterly despicable train wreck of a pill popper showcases why she is the monolithic actress she is. Watching Julie Delpy embody the role of Celine for the third (or fourth if you consider Waking Life) time, you can see how much she has sank into this role and it’s simply a beauty to behold. Although deemed ineligible for the Oscars, Scarlett Johansson is able to achieve wonders with just her voice and deserves a pile of praise for that.

Best Supporting Actress:

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WINNER: Julia Roberts “August: Osage County”
Runner Up: Margot Robbie “The Wolf of Wall Street”
Honorable Mention: Kristen Scott Thomas ‘Only God Forgives’

Also:
Octavia Spenser ‘Fruitvale Station’
Jennifer Lawrence ‘American Hustle’
June Squibb ‘Nebraska’
Lupita Nyong’o ’12 Years a Slave’
Emily Watson ‘The Book Thief’
Melissa Leo ‘Prisoners’

Easily the least impressive of the four acting categories, the best supporting actress category just didn’t have quite as much to offer as the rest did this year. Going through my nominees, it was hard to choose a top spot because all were commendable but none were absolutely unforgettable. I would hardly consider Julia Roberts as someone whose films I anticipate so was caught offguard by her fantastic work in August: Osage County. She holds her own against Streep and at times even shows her up. Color me impressed. I gave the second slot to Margot Robbie of The Wolf of Wall Street because of an unforgettable scene she shares with DiCaprio that’s sexy, tortuous and hysterical all at once and would have been nothing without the presence she brings to the scene. And for all the flak Only God Forgives caught for lacking dialogue, Kristen Scott Thomas stood out as the only character with true personality and she absolutely chewed through her deluded sanctimony. She’s menacing, repulsive and commanding and totally owns every scene she’s in. And just to preempt those offended by my lack of pedastalizing Academy darling Jennifer Lawrence, I enjoyed what she did in American Hustle but could never really take her character seriously. It was fun but not near worthy the level of praise being heaped on. And Lupita Nyong’o was certainly stunning in her 12 Years a Slave scenes but remember, this is my favorites and her performance is nothing less than a chore to watch.

Best Director

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WINNER: Spike Jonze ‘Her’
Runner Up: Richard Linklater ‘Before Midnight’
Honorable Mention: Steve McQueen ’12 Years a Slave’

Also:
Martin Scorsese ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’
Jean-Marc Valee ‘Dallas Buyers Club’
Alexander Payne ‘Nebraska’
Denis Villeneuve ‘Prisoners’
Alfonso Cuaron ‘Gravity’
Destin Cretton ’12 Years a Slave’
Coen Bros ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’

I have to give a leg up to the director/writer combos so it’s no surprise that Spike Jonze has secured the top position. The humanity he brings to this technological world and the insight he’s able to provide is simply stunning, aided by his sharp visual style and realistic futurism. Richard Linklater may not be the world’ most hands on director but the palpably freedom he affords his actors gives them the capacity to create the caliber of tender moments we see in Before Midnight. He’s no bleeding heart but he’s not quite a cynic either and I love watching the way he sees the world. On the more difficult side of things, I’ve seen all three of Steve McQueen‘s films and, though this comment may be hotly debated, think 12 Years a Slave is actually his least tortuous. At least to watch. It’s an amazing effort that drags us through hell and yet there is a string of hope that runs throughout the story. I guess that only someone from outside of the states could bring such honesty and power to a distinctly American story.

Best Ensemble:

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WINNER: American Hustle
Runner Up: The Wolf of Wall Street
Honorable Mention: August: Osage County

Also:
12 Years a Slave
This is the End
The Counselor

Best Cinematography

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WINNER: Sean Bobbitt ’12 Years A Slave’
Runner Up: Emmanuel Lubezki ‘Gravity’
Honorable Mention: Roger Deakins ‘Prisoners’

Also:
Phedon Papamichael ‘Nebraska’
Hoyte Van Hoytema ‘Her’
Bruno Delbonnel ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’
John R. Leonetti ‘The Conjuring’
Yves Bélanger ‘Lawrence Anyways’

Best Foreign Film

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WINNER: The Hunt
Runner Up: Laurence Anyways
Honorable Mention: Populaire

Also:
Wajdja
Blue is the Warmest Color
Crystal Fairy and the Magical Cactus

Best Documentary:

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WINNER: The Act of Killing
Runner Up: Cutie and the Boxer
Honorable Mention: Dirty Wars

Also:
The Crash Reel
Blackfish
The Square
Somm

Best Song

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WINNER: “Fare Thee Well” – Inside Llewyn Davis
Runner Up: “Young and Beautiful” – Great Gatsby
Honorable Mention: “Doby” – Anchorman 2: The Journey Continues

Also:
“Please Mr. Kennedy – Inside Llewy6n Davis
“The Moon Song – Inside Llewyn Davis
“In Summer – Frozen
“Oblivion” – Oblivion

Best Scene:

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WINNER: Her ‘When it All Goes Dark’
Runner Up: The Wolf of Wall Street “Lemmons 714”
Honorable Mention: Before Midnight ‘Letter from the Future’

Also:
Captain Phillips “Check Up”
August: Osage “Family Dinner”
Nebraska “Mt. Rushmore”
This is the End “Backstreets Back”
Gravity ‘Opening Sequence’
Out of the Furnace ‘Hot Dog’
Inside Llewyn Davis ‘Please Mr. Kennedy’
The Conjuring “Basement Exorcism”
Lawrence Anyways “It’s Raining Clothes”

I’d love to hear where you guys agree and disagree and would encourage you to share your own lists in the comments section below.

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Richard Linklater and Cast Talk BOYHOOD

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Even if you won’t be able to see Richard Linklater’s stunning Boyhood for another five months or so, the epicly elongated process that went into making this film is undeniably amazing and certainly worth a read. Shot over 12 years as a young boy grows from age six to eighteen, Linklater’s ambitious project is truly one of a kind and the product reflects his thoughtful dedication. Alongside his cast, including Ethan Hawke, Patricia Arquette, daughter Lorlei Linklater and debut star Ellar Salmon at his side, Linklater took to the stage at Sundance’s Eccles Theater to answer a host of questions after the world premiere of his sensational film.

Richard Linklater: We couldn’t imagine any place else to show this film to its first audience so it’s really special for us. We started this film 4,208 days ago. So thanks for coming along with us. I’m just so proud of these guys! We’re here to answer any questions you might have.

Q: Was it all your idea and script Richard, or do you collaborate with what’s going on in their lives?

RL: Very collaborative. It’s kind of outlined. But every year we would work out the scenes. The great thing of having that gestation period, roughly a year between shoots, so I could think about it, you know, fourth grade, fifrth grade, and then we would get together and just work on it, sometimes really quickly. It was very intense, like three or four day shoots every time, about a year in between to think about it. That’s the way I always work. At some point, the ideas merge, as the kids got older, at some point Ellar was writing with me much of it.

Q: How did you approach casting?

RL: Casting. Well, you know that’s the key. That was the lucky thing. I mean, I talked to Ethan first. We’d worked together and we’re friends, we run ideas by each other. So he jumped in. Do you guys wanna talk about how you came aboard?

Ethan Hawke: It all started with me. (Laughter) No, sometimes I think that Rick either has a lucky star or sold his soul to the Devil, because this movie couldn’t have worked without Lorelei and Ellar. And you couldn’t really know that they would be able to contribute the way they did. Except for the fact, for your writing question, one of the ways that Rick likes to write a movie is to invite his performers to be a part of the filmmaking process with him. It’s very clear the way he wants to make it and he lets it be incredibly open to us. So Lorelai, what’s going on in her life could inform what is happening in Samantha’s life and vice versa. For all of us, a lot of it was talking about it for us, what it was like in fourth grade, but now a lot of us are parents of fourth graders or have been. So we could benefit from having both points of view. I mean, Lorelai signed up for something…what age were you when you agreed to do it?

Lorelei Linklater: Eight.

EH: Eight. He held you to that promise for twelve years? What was the year you decided you no longer wanted to be involved in it?

LL: Maybe around the fourth year. I asked my Dad (director Richard Linklater) if my character could die. (Laughter) He said it would be too dramatic.

Patricia Arquette: Another thing that Rick did during the process, in regard to the writing thing, sometimes I think Ellar would be a little more advanced than Mason would be, because Ellar’s parents are really cool experimental artists and musicians, incredible people. Rick would say, “So here’s where Ellar’s at, but Mason’s a couple of years behind, so we’ve got to cut his hair, make him look not so cool.” So we had to uncool Ellar. Yeah, the coolest seventh grader on Earth happened to be working on our movie. But when Rick called, we met at Ethan’s hotel at a little party for ten minutes–

EH: In 1994.

PA: So he called me and said, “What are you going to be doing for the next twelve years?” I don’t know, hustling, trying to get a job, unemployed, what I’m doing now. “Ok, wanna do this movie?” Absolutely, coolest opportunity on Earth.

Q: Ellar, do you remember being cast?

Ellar Salmon: Very vaguely, I remember being a variable in an audition process. And, I remember having a distinct feeling that a large part of why I was cast was because of how cool my parents are. He knew he wouldn’t have to deal with those kind of parents. But I don’t remember it. It goes in and out. There are things early on that I watch and remember really clearly and then there are other things that I just have absolutely no memory of.

EH: It was fascinating to see Ellar develop as an actor. Because when he was a little boy, it was like playing with a kid and trying to capture moments. And when I came in, I would miss two years at a time sometimes. We had a camping trip scene, and that was the first time you had agency in the writing, bring in where he thought the character would be. You really wanted to talk about this Star Wars thing and talk about girls. So watching you learn how to act and how to collaborate as a filmmaker as a participant in this film. You learned how to improvise and how to be in character. And that just started growing. And the process of making it felt differently because Ellar was becoming a young man.

Q: With a three hour film, I’m curious if there was something that was a little difficult to cut that the audience would be interested in hearing about?

RL: All of my scenes. There was quite a bit on the floor.

Q: What was your favorite scene that you cut?

RL: Well it would be in the movie if it was my favorite. It was an interesting editing process. You got to spend all those years. Two months ago I trimmed something from Year 2. I had ten years to think about what I wasn’t totally happy about. Everything about this movie was odd. But there’s nothing. The movie’s long but it had to be. I never made a movie over two hours but this one had to be for a reason.

Q: As far as it how it was shot, seamlessly, it looks so beautiful and has incredible the production value but I was just curious about the technology involved. Did you keep using the same camera or was it changed in post?

RL: That’s a good question about technology. That was a big issue upfront. So we shot it on 35mm, negative, I wanted it to look the same way. I knew it’d look a lot different if we jumped into the digital, hi-def formats. So I don’t know how many 35mm films are at Sundance this year, but we’re one of them. Can I give a big shout out? There’s a hero in this film. It’s the crazy guy who took a leap of faith. Obviously, this whole thing, we all took leaps of faith. It was a lot of belief in the future to commit for something for so long. But it’s the strangest proposition to ask someone to help finance something for twelve years, in our industry. So I want to really thank Johnathan Sirak, at IFC. He doesn’t make a lot of films, and as years went on, I’d run into him and he’d say “Well, we have one film in production.” (Laughs) Every year, I just had a board meeting. Everyone asks what the hell this is on the books. He had to lie, every year. But we have to thank him so much for his support.

Q: You guys wanna let me know about any other films?

EH: You’re gonna be in the next episode. This is part of the movie now.

RL: We started a reality show actually. (laughs)

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Sundance Review: BOYHOOD

“Boyhood”
Directed by Richard Linklater
Starring Ellar Salmon, Ethan Hawke, Patricia Arquette, Lorelei Linklater
163 Mins 

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A monolith of cinema, Richard Linklater‘s Boyhood is a soaring accomplishment of product and process. Famously filmed over the course 12 years, Linklater’s long form approach allows for an intimacy and connection like no film before. From the time we meet young Macon at the tender age of six until he moves to college, Linklater fosters his audience’s near parental ties to this young man, making us feel for a character in unprecedented manner. It’s a masterpiece in all senses of the word; a rare trailblazer of a film with macroscopic vision that’s as uniformly jaw-dropping as the final product.

The cat has been in the bag for the bulk of filming on Boyhood but when Linklater and frequent collaborator Ethan Hawke announced last year that their yet untitled 12 Year Project would likely see the light of day in 2014, I wasn’t the only one to rush it to the top of my most anticipated films of 2014 list. While most movies film over the course of a few months, Linklater showed unprecedented patience with a willingness to craft this story over the course of a dozen years. Although the end product probably shared a similar amount of shoot time, breaking it up over that extensive period of time is wholly original (even in regard to Paul Almond‘s celebrated Up series which only checked in once every seven years.) Going into the project, Linklater had a general arc in mind but would let the times reflect unforeseeable changes, moving the direction of the film in line with the sway of culture and ethos. In that regard, the film serves as a time capsule for an ever changing American zeitgesit over the past decade.

Not above chats of Star Wars and girls, The Beatles and drinking, and the once celebratory naivety of Obama’s campaign of hope, Boyhood feels like a film Linklater designed particularly with me in mind. I wonder how many other people will feel the same way; how many will experience such a visceral gut punch and how many will find younger versions of themselves in a morphing Mason. Feeling such a instinctive connection urges questions on the universality of the human experience, it compels us wrestle with the past and acutely acknowledge the shifting paradigm that is the individual. Scientists, and stoners, say that because of our cellular lifespan, a human body is completely replaced within the span of 7 years. Looking at snapshots in time like this, we could be easily convinced this process is even more rapid. From one year to another, there’s a base consistency of character in Macon but its overshadowed by the omnipresent winds of change perennially blowing him into new directions.

Calling it a coming-of-age story feels slight as Boyhood tracks the joy and pain of growing up, one delicate moment at a time. We find ourselves in Macon, a perceptive youth, in his strength and in his weakness, in his whiny teenage angst and his youthful abandon, in his quasi-stoned prolific moments of reflection and his meekest helplessness. When he’s too young to stand up for himself, I felt the pangs of my 8-year old vulnerable self, reeling from my parent’s separation. As his hair grows long and he starts dipping into the pleasure pool, his raw arrogance is a relic I can robustly relate to.

I found myself beaming with pride at moments, disappointed in him at others and silently heartbroken and yet joyful as he reached new milestones. I watched him grow up, I witnessed him learning valuable life lessons, I feel in love beside him. To young Ellar Salmon‘s credit, there’s never a moment where we don’t fully believe the deeply personal yet universal John Doe plight of a boy coming of age. He’s an every man and an intellectual and Salmon’s maturing performance helps to auction the many faces one man can put on. When you stop to consider that Linklater had to take a half-blind shot in the dark with Salmon, casting him well before he could prove himself as a consistent and talented actor willing to put in a dozen years of his life into one performance, the fact that Salmon turned out as good as he was is nothing short of a miracle, much like the film itself.

A+

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