21 Years: Richard Linklater

21 Years: Richard Linklater (5/27/15) SHO (2014 ***1/2) Written and directed by Michael Dunaway and Tara Wood, featuring footage of and/or interviews with Richard Linklater, Jack Black, Ethan Hawke, Matthew McConaughey, Julie Delpy and many others. From Slacker (1991) to Boyhood (2014), Richard Linklater has established himself as a singular talent who’s able to helm both independent and commercial films with equal skill. This love-letter-in-documentary form had a fascinating structure: Instead of covering Linklater’s films chronologically, his films were broken up into (mostly) logical thematic groups. At first it seemed odd, like the documentary jumped around, but after awhile it made sense, allowing for the “Before” trilogy to be discussed as a set. While I haven’t seen all of Linklater’s films, I’ve seen almost all of them, consider myself a fan and have the utmost respect for him and his ability to make films while still remaining true to himself. The interviews in this documentary were shot before the release of Boyhood, so the subjects referred to it as the “12 year project.” It remains my humble opinion (shared by many others, including Jon Stewart) that Boyhood deserved to beat Birdman for 2014’s Best Picture.

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