Richard Linklater’s “Boyhood” Continues Cinematic Human Project

Boyhood (IFC Films)

In anticipation of director Richard Linklater’s “Boyhood,” my neurotic mind drifts to last year’s “Before Midnight” press conference. The “Before” stories, which detail the lifelong romance between Jessie (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy) bears a spiritual kinship to “Boyhood,” a project Linklater shot from 2002 to 2013.

Clocking in at 160 minutes, “Boyhood” gives us a peek into the life of Mason (Ellar Coltrane), the son of divorced parents (Hawke and Patricia Arquette). As the trailer suggests, we see Mason (and Coltrane)grow before our very eyes. Although it’s a one shot film and “Before” may be ongoing series, both narratives deal with our relationship to aging. 

My favorite Jackson Browne album moniker is “Time the Conqueror,” and such a concept may be applied to Linklater’s work. For better and worse, the years do have an affect on our collective spirits,  and it’s what we do with that time that truly matters.

 

Boyhood (IFC Films)

Humanity’s ever expanding scope and reach serves as Richard Linklater’s creative canvas, and don’t expect the director to work with anything less, even if his films don’t pack ’em in like some bloated, nonsensical, summer blockbuster.

“We do have this small audience in mind when we get to a crossroads and we think, ‘Oh well, cinema, storytelling language says if this plus this equals an unlikable character then you just don’t do it,'” said Linklater during the ‘Before Midnight’ interviews. “We think, ‘well that’s a construct, that’s not really real. It’s the narrative, storytelling bubble (that) cinema exists in.'”

Click on the media bar below to hear Linklater explain why movie lovers play an important part in the creative drive behind “Before Midnight,” and it’s a conversation that I’m sure can be applied to the aesthetics behind “Boyhood.”

“Boyhood” opens July 11.

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