Saturday, July 5, 2014

Wall of Heroes: Richard Linklater

The world of Linklater is populated by slackers, stoners, lovers & dreamers. Connecting their shodden walkabout lives is the dialogue that cohesively melds from scene to scene with a purpose. It's more about the characters and less about how complex of a plot one can cram into 90 minutes. Less action and more talk.

I first saw Linklater's work in the now cult movie Dazed and Confused. Quentin Tarantino once jibbed: "Everytime you watch this film you feel like you're hanging out with a bunch of old friends again." QT knows what he's talkin' about. The commerodery put forth by the likes of Slater, Randal 'Pink' Floyd, Wooderson, and the rest of the gang is inviting. The "jazz of life" is what the film is about. Free form, improvisation. Loose notes. Just hanging back in the groove of it all and L-I-V-I-N. It's that "in the moment" feeling you get. Despite the hazings and the paddlings. I'm dancing more to the tune of partyin' at the Moontower, chillin', & of course the music. Oh that music!

Every person has that gateway film so after seeing Dazed I gleefully stumbled upon Waking Life. Which in itself feels like being a philosophy class and drifting from person to person discussing ideas. The open air of language and communication filtered through rotoscope animation. It's less of a film about hanging out with a group of friends and more of like a train ride of conversation. Each stop bringing along a new and interesting character into the dreamer's life until they drift along to the next person. As one person would say: going through life with our antennas bouncing off one another continuously on auto-pilot.

Linklater is apart of the same generation that spawned Soderbergh, Tarantino & Smith. What makes him unique is how his films refuse to conform to any pre-existing structure. He's more interested in literary and philosophical sensibilities.

It was not soon after that I would spin a couple records with Jesse & Celine, take a course in the school of rock & finally learn about the Madonna papsmear. I currently await his 2013 feature Boyhood. A long gestating project which has been in development since 2002 and tells the story of two divorced parents raising their child. Following the boy for 12 years from age 6 to 18 in real time.

Pulling a Linklater off the shelf, you are sure to get locked in that groove. In fact I have the urge to do so right now. So check ya later and super perfundo on the early eve of your day.

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