By DYLAN GOWAN.
One of my favourite directors is Richard Linklater. He is a genius. In his career so far he has written and directed some stellar movies.
You might not know the name, but you will definitely know at least some of his films. The biggest being last year’s Boyhood; the epic tale of a boy growing up in America, filmed over the course of twelve years.
Many of Linklater’s films deal with the passage of time. Instead of being super focused on story, they tend to kind of just mellow around a location and a space in time, letting the characters and what they are doing in that moment take focus.
There is no doubt he is one of the best directors of this generation.
At this point you might be thinking to yourself, “This Richard guy, he sounds like he has made some great movies. I wouldn’t mind seeing some. But where should I start?”
Well, isn’t it just your lucky day! While I can’t say I have seen every movie Richard Linklater has ever directed (hey, I’m getting there) I’ve seen a few. So, I present to you a collection of Richard Linklater’s best work (from what I have seen, which is basically everything of his I have seen.)
Let’s start with the one you have most definitely heard of. Boyhood was released last year to critical acclaim and went on to be nominated for six Academy Awards. It tells the story of a boy, Mason, and his family as he grows up in to a young man. While totally fictional, the passage of time was not, as it was incredibly filmed over a twelve-year period. It’s a beautiful film, one which I think everyone can relate to, even though everyone’s experience of life is unique. Maybe the only thing it sparks in you is the faint memory that once upon a time Crank That by Soulja Boy was a hit, but I doubt that’s the only thing.
School of Rock (2003)
School of Rock was the highlight of my 11th birthday party. It is one of Jack Black’s best movies and the cast of kids – who are now all twenty-somethings like me – absolutely nailed it. Plus, they’re still nailing it.
Before Sunrise (1995), Before Sunset (2004), Before Midnight (2013)
In 1995, Linklater released Before Sunrise, another one of the most beautiful films I have ever seen. It follows an American and a Parisian one evening in Vienna, after they meet by chance on a train. There isn’t really a narrative, instead you just watch as they explore Vienna and quite obviously fall in love. Then in 2004, Before Sunset was released, which picks up nine years later. Then fast forward another nine years to 2013 and Before Midnight came out, which again picks up a whole nine years later. I haven’t seen Before Midnight yet, but if reviews are anything to go by, it is as special as the other two.
Dazed and Confused (1993)
Set in 1976, this movie follows the first night of summer vacation. Again, like many of Linklater’s films, the narrative is very loose. Instead we follow a variety of different characters, including a creepy Matthew McConaughey, as they celebrate the end of the school year by generally getting up to no good. It’s an entertaining ride and I can’t wait for the spiritual sequel, Everybody Wants Some, set to come out next year.
Slacker was Richard Linklater’s first movie, and is definitely one of his best. It basically has no plot. You might think a movie with no plot would be tediously boring. I mean, what could possibly happen to make it interesting? There isn’t even a main character! But it’s not. Slacker follows a whole lot of different – mostly eccentric – people around Austin, Texas. The camera literally follows one person, and then another walks by and the camera follows them instead, before we jump to another person. What makes this movie interesting is the characters, and I promise you the movie is far from boring. It is so creatively wonderful.