Watching Boyhood (Linklater, 2014) in the theater was an ineffably special experience. The film itself is an astounding accomplishment, following the life of not just a boy, but also that of his mother, father, and sister. Time unfolds before us. It meanders like a river that we and the characters can dip in and out of. We get the opportunity to watch glimpses that add up to the full import of twelve impactful years in their lives. Though we don’t see on screen the great events of history, I still call this an epic, albeit a small-scale one.
Keep in mind that the same actors stayed with the project throughout. The method for constructing this was unprecedented. They came together with the crew every year to film, and Richard Linklater wrote the script year to year. They slowly and painstakingly built towards an end as well as the next beginning in the young man’s life. With great care, patience, and trust, the director and the actors made the scenes together. They included stories from their own lives and built characters based on those closest to them. You might relate to or recognize those people from your own life.
Richard Linklater left us with a final thought: “If the movie brings up one thing, I would love it to be that people would, maybe retrospectively, appreciate their parents, kids, siblings – each other.” I think that’s a great sentiment.
What you’ll find in this episode: revisiting contentious scenes, why people might hang on to keepsakes or photographs, and whether there are really elves in the world.
Links and Recommendations:
Check out Boyhood on IMDB.
Ericca’s further viewing of pick of Before Midnight.
Cole’s further viewing pick of Here Is Your Life.
Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette reflect on the film.
Richard Linklater breaks down his career.