July 14, 2014

Master of the Mundane: Richard Linklater’s “Boyhood”

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For the past 20 years, Richard Linklater has been one of the greatest directors working in cinema. So why doesn’t he get as many accolades as the hardcore film snob’s club of favorites? Is it that he hasn’t gotten a Best Director nomination? Is it that he’s remained a filmmaker staunchly based in his native Texas, and that this comes across as anti-Hollywood? Or is it because his films, unlike those of certain other auteur renegades, work their brilliance in a far more subtle way. Rather than announcing their grandiose ambitions with bravura camerawork, off-kilter narrative, or a sense of the director screaming from off screen, “Look at me, look at me!” Linklater is the truly invisible director. His self-appointed task is capturing magic in the mundane, and doing so in such a naturalistic way that one sometimes doesn’t register the depth of the true-to-life moments he puts on film. He is the soft-spoken auteur who dazzles calmly and quietly with images taken straight out of the picture-book of everyday life, and in no film is this more the case than in Boyhood.

Courtesy of IFC Films