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Richard Linklater's 'Boyhood'


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I saw this last night at a preview screening in Bath, and now it's probably amongst my favourite films of all time.

It's an arc through childhood, from age 5 to 17, of a boy who grew up in the 90s. The Game Boy Advance generation.

I can't really put into words how strongly this film affected me, but it did. A lot.

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It snuck up on me too, which seems weird for a film that had been shooting on and off for twelve years.

It's quite an amazing achievement, really. Choosing an actor when he's just starting school and him being a good performer when he matures. It'll be interesting to see how much of a narrative there was when Linklater began shooting, or if he just adapted based on the changing characteristics of Mason.

But that might ruin the magic a bit, too.

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The youtube comments section for the trailer makes me weep for humanity. I saw: "Why didn't they just film it normally and cast different-aged actors?" and: "I bet that kid must be fucked up now after having a film crew following him around every day of his life." :facepalm:

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It snuck up on me too, which seems weird for a film that had been shooting on and off for twelve years.

It's quite an amazing achievement, really. Choosing an actor when he's just starting school and him being a good performer when he matures. It'll be interesting to see how much of a narrative there was when Linklater began shooting, or if he just adapted based on the changing characteristics of Mason.

But that might ruin the magic a bit, too.

creative process spoiler

apparently the script was worked on as they shot, a few weeks a year, up to the night before shooting

TBF he's probably more fucked by his parents naming him Mason.

who, the fictional character in this work of fiction, named after his fictious father played by an actor?
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Had no idea it was a work of fiction as I never watch trailers, thought it was a documentary!

that's been done.

no, this is more of an "film" in the traditional narrative sense, they just shot it over a period of years so that they didn't have to go all benjamin button with the CGI

;)

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So I saw this last night and it's completely excellent. It felt a little long towards the end but for me it was a really impressive look at parenting more than anything.Arquette and Hawke are excellent as Mason's parents and you really get a sense for seeing a child grow up and go through life's various milestones over the course the film. It did leave me feeling a very old 25 though, seeing this little kid playing a Game Boy Advance SP and listening to The Hives with a sense of nostalgia!? That was like 2 years ago wasn't it!?

Either way go and see it. The bloody thing took 12 years to make and is more than worth a couple of hours of your time!

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Saw this last night, film of the year without a shadow of a doubt. I think I might write a review of it this week if I get time and embarrass myself.

Also, there was a small Harry Potter fancy dress party scene in the film. That's not much to write home about I know, but Emma Watson was sitting three rows in front of us.

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Saw this last week and the group I was with thought the 160 mins flew by. Lovely, poignant and funny film that's not perfect but just great to experience.

Highly recommended.

For some reason I'd gone into the film think that the boy and girl were Linklater's kids not just the girl.

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  • 2 weeks later...

What a special film. Not often I find something genuinely uplifting, this I did.

Definitely agreed on the first part but I can't believe it was uplifting; my reaction to it was one of despair! I was in bits in the final stages with Mason asking

"what's the point of it all?"

and Patricia Arquette's final scene.

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I was in bits in the final stages with Mason asking

"what's the point of it all?"

and Patricia Arquette's final scene.

Hmm, I also found the whole thing uplifting, and those two moments were pretty reassuring, in a strange sort of way. Like, shit, we're all stuck in this, wondering where we're going and why. Naecunt knows. Might as well enjoy it. I guess Mason's mother only found disappointment and despair in the series-of-milestones "structure" of it all. And maybe you agreed with her?

I admired how Linklater was able to get some of his Waking Life-style philosophical "big topic" discussion going on between characters, hidden amongst scenes depicting life's milestones. It was a great balance. Nostalgic and pleasant on the one hand, while simultaneously providing food for thought for those in the audience who choose to look beyond the amazing logistics and scope of the overall project. There was a lot going on.

I liked, for example, how Linklater was able to feature pretty much every archetypal human that we will encounter in life, e.g. the jobsworth boss in the restaurant, the ignorant bullies in the school toilets, the obnoxious, gloating mate's-older-brother-and-his-cronies, the washed-up military square, the abusive alcoholic, the hedonistic idealist, the racist, the religious conservative, the inspirational teacher etc. I also liked how Linklater complimented these archetypal characters with that discussion between Mason and his mother about how his new college's computer system seemed able to identify the 8 different types of person (or whatever it was), in order to find compatible dormitory roommates. That reference to the computer's selection process certainly felt like an extension of Linklater's character choices.

Indeed, I really liked how Linklater used technology references throughout the film. The leap from GBA to Nintendo Wii and Xbox visually demonstrated leaps in time, the kids using internet pornography where years previously it was lingerie catalogues, that whole discussion about people living life through social media (crazy to think that Linklater probably had no inkling about Facebook being such a significant future presence when he began the project), and so on. Aside from the human relationships aspect of the film, it was almost like he was implying, correctly, an ever-growing reliance on technology for humankind as time goes on. Sci-fi themes delivered in a sci-fact presentation. Great stuff.

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Aye, I found the existential dialogue to be uplifting in the manner Sartre would have it, ie we are free, and not the nihilistic view that can stem from the same source. It seemed to me to take the path of light.

I hope Manhood comes out in another 12 years or so.

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I haven't left the cinema this happy in years. Years. With all this pressure from TV series and videogames and the internet, and so many identikit films being churned out, I was worried film had had its day, but then along comes a something like this which is so groundbreaking, so magical, so poetic and profound yet so simple and (apparently) effortless, that my whole faith in the medium has been restored. There are a couple of duff notes, mostly at the end, but the rest is so good, so nourishing to the soul, that it doesn't matter. This film is the best film I have seen for so long. I love it. For once, this film is worthy of the hype, and the 5 star reviews. It's a landmark. I know those people, I have seen thier lives. It's like a dream. Like the Star Trek episode where Picard lives a whole lifetime in a few hours of unconsciousness. I now want to see all Linklater's films. 5/5 10/10 100%

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I now want to see all Linklater's films.

I'm really looking forward to seeing this, but besides that I'm also glad that Linklater is getting some more recognition. He is one of the best and most consistent living film makers, but not necessarily one that gets a lot of attention. His "Before" trilogy (Before Sunrise, Sunset and Midnight) are probably closest to Boyhood and equally brilliant. Dazed and Confused, Slacker, A Scanner Darkly and Waking Life are also must-sees.

Edit: Let's not forget School of Rock.

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That movie should have been a huge kick-off for Zac Efron do more with his career as he was actually really great in it.

I'm sure i've posted the anecdote before where they all went to the pub after filming one day, Efron handed out some cigars and then asked everyone for £5. Apparently Claire Danes was a complete diva all the way through and refused to come out of her trailer for the end of shoot cast photo as someone had messed up her drink order so they had to photoshop a picture of her in afterwards.

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