21 YEARS: RICHARD LINKLATER

CartoonMMNew BioDoc is like a big, fat, wet Frat House kiss to Peter Pan director Richard Linklater, which is ironic because this latest film is, in fact, Boyhood.

We have liked many of his films, so it should be fun to run through old clips, but Dunaway/Wood are too star-struck to do justice to their hero. (JLH: 3/3)

Written & Directed by Michael Dunaway & Tara Wood. Click HERE for our FF2 Haiku.

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I wouldn’t exactly say that Richard Linklater is one of my favorite filmmakers, although I have seen most of his films and I have liked quite a few of them (most especially School of Rock and Bernie).

But this BioDoc seems determined to see Linklater as a Boy’s Boy–an eternal Peter Pan refusing to grow up–and therefore focuses on the earliest films, and most especially Dazed & Confused from 1993.

Quite possibly this all results from the fact that the filmmakers had remarkable access to Matthew McConaughey. Dazed & Confused is McConaughey’s first IMDb credit. Way back in 1993, he was one of the members of a huge cast of actors which included Joey Lauren Adams, Ben Affleck, Adam Goldberg, Milla Jovovich, and Parker Posey (as well as a bit part for Renée Zellweger as the uncredited “Girl in blue pickup truck”).

But McConaughey–who has had a remarkable string of great roles recently which culminated in his Oscar-winning performance last year as “Ron Woodroof” in Dallas Buyers Clubis clearly first among all these former equals. And so McConaughey steals the show. Dunaway and Wood just can’t get enough of him, and it throws their film totally off balance.

No matter who else appears on screen–Ethan Hawke, Billy Bob Thornton, Zac Ephron–McConaughey has totally co-opted the narrative. Even Jack Black–as irrepressible as always–barely gets breathing room.  Walking out of this film, it would be hard to remember that after Dazed & Confused, McConaughey only appeared in two more Linklater films: The Newton Boys (1998) and Bernie (2011).

Watching 21: Richard Linklater, who would know that his doppelganger is actually Ethan Hawke who stars in “The Before Trilogy”–Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, and Before Midnight–the films for which Linklater has achieved his greatest critical acclaim (as well as his only Oscar nominations), as well as Boyhood (one of this year’s Indie darlings).

Ironically the real Linklater has long since left Neverland and the Island of the Lost Boys, focusing more and more on the inevitability of the aging process. Born in 1960, Linklater is now 54 years old. So I have hopes that the best is yet to come.

YoungMM

Top Photo: Cartoon caricature of Matthew McConaughey (from the 21 Years Facebook site).

Bottom Photo: Matthew McConaughey in Dazed & Confused.

Q: Does 21 Years: Richard Linklater pass the Bechdel Test?

No.

Dunaway and Wood allow Julie Delpy to tell a few cute stories about the making of “The Before Trilogy,” but otherwise there are remarkably few women seen onscreen in 21 Years: Richard Linklater.

The most invisible “Invisible Woman” is  Kim Krizan, who appeared as an actress in Slacker (1991) and Waking Life (2001) as well as in Dazed and Confused, but is best-known–or rather should be best-known–as the co-writer of Before Sunrise aka the first chapter of “The Before Trilogy.”

Somewhere along the line, Kim Krizan and Richard Linklater went their separate ways, and neither IMDb nor Wikipedia provide any explanations. So perhaps Dunaway and Wood asked Kim Krizan to participate in their film and she said no. Who knows?

But since she is the credited co-screenwriter of Before Sunrise, turning her in an “Invisible Woman” leaves 21 Years: Richard Linklater with a gaping Black Hole.

RELATED POSTS:

Click HERE for our Boyhood Haiku.

Click HERE for my review of The Before Trilogy.

Tags: 21 Years: Richard Linklater, Ethan Hawke, Jack Black, Julie Delpy, Kim Krizan, Matthew McConaughey, Michael Dunaway, Richard Linklater, Tara Wood

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Comments

    • Goma
    • August 12, 2015
    Reply

    I tuned in to see the credits and found it hard to shut it off. I did, since I don’t have the time to see it now, but I have a screineng this coming Tuesday. Richard Linklater brings so much intelligence, wit, and filmaking savvy to everything he does; I’m looking forward to it.Thanks for the link. As a matter of fact, thanks for everything on your site. It’s wholly original; completely you, and it’s great.

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