Anyone who loves film is talking about Boyhood, the latest film directed by Richard Linklater. Although “latest” is actually relative — the amazing thing about the film is that Linklater shot the film with its stars, Ellar Coltrane, Ethan Hawke, Patrica Arquette, and the director’s daughter, Lorelei Linklater — over a twelve year period.
Movie Buzzers was invited to cover the red carpet for the screening of the film at the 4th annual BAMFest at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. I had the opportunity to speak with two producers of the film, John Sloss and Jonathan Shering, the film’s now grown-up star Ellar Coltrane, and one of my all-time favorite film directors, Richard Linklater.
I asked Linklater’s long-time collaborator John Sloss (executive producer Before Sunrise, SubUrbia, The Newton Boys, Waking Life, Tape, Before Sunset, A Scanner Darkly, Me and Orson Welles, Bernie, Before Midnight) about why he thought Linklater could pull this movie off. He answered, “Let me put it this way, I’ve seen fifty different movies based on the structure of the play La Ronde, and Slacker is the only one that works. And that was his first movie!”
His fellow producer Jonathan Sehring (who also was executive producer of Waking Life and Tape) added, “Never once did we doubt that he could pull it off. He makes everything work. School of Rock works because of him. Jack [Black] is great in it, but Rick makes it work. Only Rick could make a remake of Bad News Bears work. Everything he does works.”
How did your relationships change with the other actors who played your parents and siblings while you filmed the movie?
With Patricia [Arquette] and Ethan [Hawke], obviously when I was young it was more them setting a place for me where I was comfortable, and as I got older I think we became collaborators, as with Rick [Linklater]. As I got older and had more input to give I was able to give more input, so I became more a part of the team.
Was there ever a time where you thought you didn’t want to be a part of it anymore?
Not really, it was always a really positive learning experience. It was something I looked forward to, really. Certainly I was more apathetic when I was a teenager, as I guess everyone is, unfortunately, but I always looked forward to it. It was a blast.
After that I had a chance to speak to Richard Linklater. This was a big moment for me because Linklater has directed some of my all-time favorite movies, including Dazed and Confused (which I thanked him for, as you’ll see below) and the Before movies.
You’ve always been a filmmaker who challenges himself with the movies you’ve made. But was there any point when you thought you couldn’t pull it off?
No, not really. There was a plan and it really was just trying to make that plan work. I mean, sure, if you think about it too much there’s a lot of uncertainty in the future, but you start and hope for the best. But you have to work toward it.
Is there any character from the previous movies that you would’ve liked to have followed in a movie for twelve years?
That’s an interesting question. You kind of could with a lot of people.
Well, I know you did with the Before movies.
Yeah, we did, over eighteen years in a different way. But I don’t know, that’s a good question. I hadn’t really thought about that. But maybe no, I don’t want to follow anybody for twelve years at the moment. I might again, shortly, but not today.
You’re not going to surprise us a decade from now with a sequel to this called Manhood or Fatherhood?
I haven’t even processed this one being over, so no, I can’t even imagine. But you never know where your mind drifts once something’s over. I don’t know.
In any way is it a relief that this film is done? Or do you think you’re going to miss it?
I don’t know, it’s kind of bittersweet coming to the end. The last shot in the movie is the last thing we filmed. Ellar and I just looked at each other and hugged. But it wasn’t just a hug, it was a three minute hug, like “What the fuck just happened? What have we been doing for twelve years?” Everything on this was magnified times twelve, you know, so it’s been a lot of unusal feelings around the movie. So it’s hard to predict what I’m going to feel in the future.
The last thing I want to say to you is to thank you so much for Dazed and Confused. That movie got me through high school.
It’s amazing how that one hangs in there twenty years later. I have a college movie I’m trying to make, too. It won’t be quite the same, but similar.
Linklater wouldn’t go in detail about his ideas for his “college movie,” but I know fans of his films would be thrilled to see him do any movie similar to Dazed and Confused.
Special thanks to Dark Horse wine for sponsoring the red carpet!