Tag Archives: Richard Linklater

Midnight Screening: A Scanner Darkly

This week’s pair of Midnight Screenings will return us to the far-flung past of 2006 and 2007, a more innocent time in film history …

It is quite possible that Richard Linklater is the only currently functioning director who really could have directed A Scanner Darkly in the fidgety, twitching tone it so desperately begged for, and thus it is a little bit of magic that he managed to acquire the film at all. Firstly, this is because Linklater, the homegrown Texan with an eye for slacker culture and the distance imparted by time and memory, strips away the science fiction trappings from Phillip K. Dick’s story and renders it all the more pressingly intimate in doing so, without ever sacrificing the essence of the novel about drug abuse and melancholic social anomie. Which is itself important; so many science fiction films rationalize themselves by claiming they are necessarily informing us about the weight of a current world crisis, but as many other Dick adaptations show us, they frequently devolve into glorified techie action flicks. The science becomes a diaphanous masquerade, a meager attempt by a film to convince its audience of its intelligence when it offers nothing but pyrotechnics and quasi-futurism. Linklater doesn’t need a trip to the future; he creates a piercingly grounded tale about trips of a different variety. Continue reading

Review: Boyhood


film-boyhoodEdited

It’s easy to reduce Boyhood to its making-of story at the expense of the finished product.  Director Richard Linklater has shepherded ambitious projects before – his Before trilogy, with three films each separated by nine years detailing the same distance in the lives’ of a couple, comes to mind. But his Before trilogy treats the past and present as a dialectic, with each individual film very notably focused on the present state of a relationship and the gap between the films emphasizing the past. Boyhood, meanwhile, flips the script as a film very much devoted to the melding of the past and the present, rather than the difference between the two – Linklater treats the passage of time as a fluid construct with the moments of “present-ness”, and indeed our conception of present, tied fundamentally to our memories of the past. Continue reading