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Richard Linklater Appreciation Thread

Started by Noodle Lizard, September 08, 2021, 09:02:18 PM

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Waking Life

I would quite like to do a full chronological rewatch of his films, but I'm not convinced that many of his films will benefit from it. I recently bought the Before trilogy on Criterion, but haven't watched them in years and slightly concerned I won't enjoy them now. I really enjoyed Slacker and Dazed and Confused (which I have revisited a couple of times) though; Waking Life did partially inspire my username - 16 years ago - as I thought the rotoscoping effect was great for conveying dream-logic (as well as issues I had at the time with lucid dreaming). I don't remember much of the film, aside from Alex Jones and it being some of the offcuts from Slacker.

I watched Boyhood when it came out but don't think I could watch it all again. I like films set over an extended period, but it felt a bit nothing. The actor helped shape a lot of the later segments and I stopped caring for him. I remember Arquette doing a great job though.

chveik


Claude the Racecar Driving Rockstar Super Sleuth


neveragain

Quote from: holyzombiejesus on September 09, 2021, 01:10:11 PM
There's a word for that feeling but I've forgotten it. Barry Admin told me what it was but I can't find the thread any more.

Fernweh or 'far-sickness' (as opposed to home-sickness).

Noodle Lizard

I got Before Sunset and Midnight under the belt last night (I've already seen Sunrise plenty). Sunset is by far the least cinematic of the trilogy, perhaps limited by it's real-time conceit. There's probably a bit less to it than any of the others, but it's not bad by any means. The ending is wonderfully understated.

Midnight, however, has grown on me. I remember very much disliking the first half, up until they leave the "academic" friend's house. I still think that whole sequence suffers from feeling like a kind of pseudy wet dream, which isn't ever really subverted. I suppose some of the conversation about relationships and impermanence does set the scene for what follows, but it otherwise feels a bit bougie and irrelevant. I wish they'd have made more of the fact that CĂ©line's career in nonprofits and solving the world's ills appears sort of at odds with their fancy lifestyle - I don't think it even gets brought up in the vicious blow-out later on.

Incidentally, the argument between them is one of the most convincing dramatic depictions of a relationship breaking down that I've ever seen. It's perfectly observed - details like them being able to laugh and cool down for a second before one wrong word throws them right back into the maelstrom, him trying to occupy his hands or move away from her, as if to create a kind of buffer between him and the situation. Horrifyingly relatable and painful to watch - I appreciate the crafting of that sequence much more than I did when I first saw it.

Dusty Substance

Spurred on by this thread I just rewatched Dazed And Confused for the first time in a decade. Didn't like it the first time round and I think I liked it even less this time. It has some of the worst, most dislikeable characters I've ever seen on-screen. How anyone can or would want to identify with any of them is beyond me. Some of the acting is horrible and it has some terrible cliched dialogue. Fuck me, I never want to hear the phrase "Hey, man" ever again.

The soundtrack is great but Linklater relies on it far too much to set a scene or mood when it should be conveyed through acting and dialogue.

It wasn't quite as "Hey, it's the '70s" as I remembered, and some of the costumes and shooting technique makes it seem a little more authentic than I remembered.  Interesting to see early performances from Ben Affleck, Matthew McConaughey, Milla Jovovich and a blink-and-you'll-miss-it appearance from Rene Zellwegger.

gilbertharding

What do you think of American Graffiti? I see that and D&C as twins - and both only as deep as you want them to be.

On D&C, costumes aside, I found the wigs a bit too distracting, but the soundtrack was great and the cars were good.

sevendaughters

Quote from: neveragain on September 09, 2021, 09:42:16 PM
Fernweh or 'far-sickness' (as opposed to home-sickness).

sehnsucht, surely. fernweh is the call for far away places.

sevendaughters

Linklater thoughts generally

- he's had an interesting career hasn't he? I think you have to credit him for being an independent refusenik in a world where anyone with half a well-received film will waggle their genitals at the latest intellectual property romp.
- has he got one truly great film? probably not.
- has he got a lot of really interesting ones that range from small ideas done well to ambitious things with flaws and superior versions of mainstream works? yes.
- I will never understand 'I didn't like the characters' or 'the characters weren't nice' as a critique. That said in D&C I think the younger kids are actually totally fine. That's my favourite Linklater and think it looks really great, one of those films that makes me want to get in a car and drive around the South.
- For their flaws I like the Before trilogy and prefer the middle one the most precisely because of the restriction and the determination to not make a Paris wanker film. I could go another, messy divorce, Hawke with a younger model, all that.
- not seen Boyhood, the discourse around it does my fucking head in, it's just a formal device that he committed to, fuckin Red Letter Media gimboids do my head in
- not sure if I like his Rotoscope experiments
- he is too much of a rockist imo

Dusty Substance

Quote from: gilbertharding on September 24, 2021, 02:09:53 PM
What do you think of American Graffiti? I see that and D&C as twins - and both only as deep as you want them to be.

On D&C, costumes aside, I found the wigs a bit too distracting, but the soundtrack was great and the cars were good.

It's been a while since I last watched American Graffiti but I much prefer it to D&C. You're absolutely right to say that they are twin films, Linklater clearly influenced by Lucas' movie. I'm more forgiving of AG as it has a certain innocence to it. Richard Dreyfuss and Ron Howard's pre-Vietnam War optimism is more entertaining than everyone smoking weed and engaging in cliched dialogue.

Even though I've smoked weed for most of my adult life, I kind of despise stoner culture in movies.


C_Larence

There's a nice interview up on Julie Delpy's instagram today where she mainly talks about her new Netflix series, but inevitably gets asked about a fourth Before movie and reveals that Linklater sent her an idea about Celine dying of cancer, which she declined because she didn't think it would make for an interesting movie.

https://www.instagram.com/tv/CUN8uiEJVh8/?utm_medium=copy_link

The relevant part is near the end, when the timer says there's 7:30 left.

zomgmouse

Quote from: gilbertharding on September 24, 2021, 02:09:53 PM
What do you think of American Graffiti? I see that and D&C as twins - and both only as deep as you want them to be.

On D&C, costumes aside, I found the wigs a bit too distracting, but the soundtrack was great and the cars were good.

I hated American Graffiti but I loved Dazed & Confused. I think for me D&C felt a lot more genuine, whereas AG was quite put on.

Either way wild to think if such a film were being made now it'd be set in the early 2000s.

Dusty Substance

Quote from: Noodle Lizard on September 09, 2021, 03:30:21 AMHaha - if you're no fan of his, Waking Life will probably only strengthen your distaste. Then again, its art/animation style and soundtrack are interesting enough on their own, and some of the sequences are fun/funny. It feels like a spiritual sequel to Slacker in some ways, but a lot more heady. It's imaginative, at the very least.

Watching Waking Life right now. The jerky animation style took a bit of getting used to but my brain's acclimatised to it.

So far, so MUCH better than Dazed And Confused. Can totally see why it's considered a somewhat spiritual follow-up to Slacker.

Inspector Norse

Quote from: Dusty Substance on September 27, 2021, 09:14:43 PM
Watching Waking Life right now. The jerky animation style took a bit of getting used to but my brain's acclimatised to it.

So far, so MUCH better than Dazed And Confused. Can totally see why it's considered a somewhat spiritual follow-up to Slacker.

Huh weird, Dazed and Confused is one of my absolute favourite films of all time and yet I couldn't sit through Waking Life or Scanner Darkly because the rotoscoping gave me my first migraine in 20 years.

Linklater does have that slightly chameleonic tendency, though: for all that he has identifiably familiar themes and ideas, he's made a lot of stylistic switches in his career and it's easy to imagine people liking very different things of his.

Quote from: zomgmouse on September 25, 2021, 04:17:47 AM
Either way wild to think if such a film were being made now it'd be set in the early 2000s.

I definitely think pop culture has slowed down to a near-standstill, but at the same time I remember watching Scott Pilgrim, a film made in 2010, three or four years after it was released and thinking that it was like a period film set in 2006.

sutin

Been a card-carrying Linklater fan since Kevin Smith named Slacker as a major inspiration in the '90s. Love Slacker, Dazed & Confused, the Before trilogy, Tape, Boyhood, Suburbia...

Don't understand this D&C criticism either. Surely the only dislikable character in that movie is Affleck's, and he gets his cumuppance. I rewatched it last week for the first time in years and I still love it as much as I ever did. A perfect coming-of-age movie.

Dusty Substance

Quote from: Inspector Norse on September 27, 2021, 11:15:39 PM
Huh weird, Dazed and Confused is one of my absolute favourite film
Quote from: sutin on September 28, 2021, 03:09:53 PM
Don't understand this D&C criticism either. Surely the only dislikable character in that movie is Affleck's, and he gets his cumuppance. I rewatched it last week for the first time in years and I still love it as much as I ever did. A perfect coming-of-age movie.
I realise I'm very much in the minority on this one. It's not that it's a terrible film, it's just not a very Dusty Substance type of film. There's not a single character I like, all the stoner conversation stuff is like nails down a blackboard to me (especially Slater's abysmal "Hey man, George Washington smoked weed man" speech), the over-use of period music to set a mood, the paddling scenes,  didn't like many of the performances and the "main" character Mitch is absolute flannel.

sutin

TBH I just find dumb stoner talk funny, and I haven't bought weed since 2007.

Dusty Substance


holyzombiejesus

Quote from: holyzombiejesus on September 09, 2021, 01:10:11 PM
Tape was ok (and my choice if there was a Linklater round on Pointless)

There's a Linklater round on Pointless! Final prize question. 'Directing Richards' - films directed by Richard Attenborough, Richard Lester and Richard Linklater. Contestants chose Attenborough and said "Miracle on 34th Street" (wrong answer), Jurassic Park (wrong answer) and then went for Lester and said Love Actually (wrong answer).

Linklater scores were:

Spoiler alert
Scoring - (No scores given) Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, Slacker, School of Rock, Boyhood, Dazed and Confused. Everything else was pointless.
[close]

Magnum Valentino

Quote from: Dusty Substance on September 28, 2021, 08:55:29 PM
I realise I'm very much in the minority on this one. It's not that it's a terrible film, it's just not a very Dusty Substance type of film. There's not a single character I like, all the stoner conversation stuff is like nails down a blackboard to me (especially Slater's abysmal "Hey man, George Washington smoked weed man" speech), the over-use of period music to set a mood, the paddling scenes,  didn't like many of the performances and the "main" character Mitch is absolute flannel.

Pink is clearly the main character!

Noodle Lizard

Quote from: Magnum Valentino on October 20, 2021, 07:07:00 PM
Pink is clearly the main character!

I'd agree with that, but I think Mitch is the Linklater avatar.

There's a good (impossible/fatal) drinking game where you have to take a shot every time he does this:


the science eel

Quote from: Dusty Substance on September 22, 2021, 11:44:27 PM
Spurred on by this thread I just rewatched Dazed And Confused for the first time in a decade. Didn't like it the first time round and I think I liked it even less this time. It has some of the worst, most dislikeable characters I've ever seen on-screen. How anyone can or would want to identify with any of them is beyond me. Some of the acting is horrible and it has some terrible cliched dialogue. Fuck me, I never want to hear the phrase "Hey, man" ever again.

The soundtrack is great but Linklater relies on it far too much to set a scene or mood when it should be conveyed through acting and dialogue.

It wasn't quite as "Hey, it's the '70s" as I remembered, and some of the costumes and shooting technique makes it seem a little more authentic than I remembered.  Interesting to see early performances from Ben Affleck, Matthew McConaughey, Milla Jovovich and a blink-and-you'll-miss-it appearance from Rene Zellwegger.

I started watching it a few nights ago and gave up because I could hardly understand what they were saying.

Famous Mortimer

Quote from: the science eel on October 20, 2021, 07:30:45 PM
I started watching it a few nights ago and gave up because I could hardly understand what they were saying.
Perhaps you should turn the sound up

Dusty Substance

Quote from: Noodle Lizard on October 20, 2021, 07:17:00 PM
I'd agree with that, but I think Mitch is the Linklater avatar.

That's what I meant by the main character. And he is an absolute flannel.

kngen

I love D&C because there's something about Mitch's 'journey' that really resonates - a serendipitous series of events where you end up way out of your depth in a world that your age kept you firmly shut out of, face pressed up against the glass staring in, a slave to your imagination. When that door miraculously opens for you, you just about manage to play it cool and not fuck it up too much, and then - woooh - cool shit happens. The final scene where he fobs off his mum, then puts his headphones on and smugly contemplates his ascent to the next level is one of my favourite happy endings ever (although I can see why people hate it).

For those that find D&C leans far too much into the whole 'hey, weed and Blue Oyster Cult. Right on!' thing, may I recommend Stoned Age. It's how to do this kind of film exactly the wrong way. Dazed and Confused is the stoner Citizen Kane by comparison.

Famous Mortimer

Agree about Stoned Age, which I remember being fitfully amusing, but only because I was the right age and the right amount of stoned to find it funny.

D&C is lovely, can't fathom people not liking it. Ah well.