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Is this the record for longest time making a movie?
May 11, 2014 7:49 PM   Subscribe

Richard Linklater's Boyhood casts the same group of actors to shoot a movie over a 12-year period (2002-2014) portraying the coming-of-age of Mason, played by Ellar Coltrane, who speaks about the experience here.
posted by divabat (50 comments total) 31 users marked this as a favorite

 
So looking forward to this.
posted by octothorpe at 7:57 PM on May 11 [1 favorite]


This is amazingly ambitious and impressive. I like that while the young grew up the older aged, which is a more subtle but just as important change. Too many movies operate on the assumption that adults look the same from maturity to turning elderly, so I look forward to seeing a movie that shows this natural change as realistically as possible.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 8:11 PM on May 11 [9 favorites]


Is this the record for longest time making a movie?
No, that would be The Thief and the Cobbler. [Original Cut]
posted by unliteral at 8:42 PM on May 11


Richard Linklater is something of a genius, a real auteur. When he's good, he's really good (and when he's bad, he's bad, but still manages to be at least non-mediocre). It'll be interesting to see if this works on a dramatic level, or if it will be dismissed as mere gimmick.
posted by zardoz at 9:00 PM on May 11 [2 favorites]


Yeah Linklater is a completely binary experience for me. Either I LOVE IT IT'S AMAZING or It's awful and I hate it and I oppose the very effort used to make it. So this should be ..interesting.
posted by The Whelk at 9:03 PM on May 11 [1 favorite]


There's also the "Up series" where the first movie came out in 1964 and the most recent was in 2012.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 9:09 PM on May 11 [2 favorites]


Well, the Up series isn't a fictional scripted movie, it's a documentary and a series of interviews with people across the years. This is something else, entirely.

I love Linklater's devotion to film as a medium which can cross time and present a unified experience to the viewer. Starting with Dazed And Confused, which is a single night but which contains deep generations-earned wisdom about the passing of the torch to a new group, to his "Before" series which keeps bringing back the same actors to embody the same characters at different stages of their lives...

I don't know much about this new project, but I do look forward to seeing it when I can.
posted by hippybear at 9:29 PM on May 11 [4 favorites]


From that short interview it really looks like a group of people who enjoy working together. I'm beginning to look forward to seeing their finished product.
posted by Harald74 at 10:58 PM on May 11


Is this the record for longest time making a movie?
No, that would be The Thief and the Cobbler
.

Another animated feature film with a long, troubled production history is Le Roi et l'Oiseau. It was started in 1948 and finally finished in 1980.
posted by bonobothegreat at 11:15 PM on May 11


Perspective is a Canadian film with a similar idea.
posted by divabat at 12:17 AM on May 12


I'm not sure The Thief And The Cobbler or indeed Eraserhead or other similar productions are comparable, as the time involved there was due to lack of money or resources. Presumably Richard Linklater set out knowing that this project was going to take many years.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 12:39 AM on May 12 [2 favorites]


This movie has incredible buzz from the festival screenings so far, it feels like its going to be a very important film for Linklater.

Can't wait.
posted by C.A.S. at 4:33 AM on May 12


I'm still disappointed that Linklater's breakthrough movie Slacker didn't make more of an impression on developing filmmakers. At the time I envisioned a future of technologically advanced movies made with multiple plots/endings which the viewer was allowed to follow any they chose and it would take months to watch entire movies. Maybe Slacker had more of an influence on the video game industry.
posted by any major dude at 5:21 AM on May 12 [1 favorite]


I'm so glad I didn't hear about this until today. The last decade would have lasted FOREVER. Huh, maybe I wish I had heard about this a decade ago: I'd still be in my mid twenties.
posted by jwhite1979 at 5:31 AM on May 12


I was on board with this until I saw/heard about the talent involved.

FWIW, I think Richard Linklater is a little on the overrated side. His ideas are interesting, but his dialogue is too self-indulgent and Profound, with every line a Deep and Meaningful Statement; his visual style looks like a TV show, and not one of the contemporary "Golden Age of TV" series either; and his frequent patronage of Ethan Hawke -- an actor with all the charm and skill of a clogged urinal, made more embarrassing by his self-proclaimed Voice of a Generation persona -- just kicks the mediocrity up to eleven. (Linklater's penchant for stunt-casting in general gives his films an embarrassingly amateurish quality.) Maybe this one will be several negatives adding up to a positive, though. Who knows.
posted by pxe2000 at 6:03 AM on May 12


There is also a Danish movie called from the eighties called Tree of Knowledge which sees its adolescent characters (and their portrayers) age about five years on screen. It is not the decade-plus of Linklater's movie, but it is long enough for them all to shoot up several inches, for the boys to grow facial hair and prominent Adam's apples and for the girls to develop breasts.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:15 AM on May 12


Since when did Ethan Hawke set himself up as Voice of A Generation? The most self-indulgent thing I've seen him do is dare to write a novel, the act that always puts one up for a slagging as pretentious or self-indulgent.

However, attempting to make a work of art while young without asking permission from some self-appointed committee for approval, even if the work is a failure, is a brave attempt to be applauded, I think. Even if it sucks.
posted by C.A.S. at 6:24 AM on May 12 [5 favorites]


Yeah, I think Ethan Hawke is underrated, if anything. I'm really looking forward to this movie.
posted by h00py at 6:28 AM on May 12 [1 favorite]


his dialogue is too self-indulgent and Profound, with every line a Deep and Meaningful Statement; his visual style looks like a TV show, and not one of the contemporary "Golden Age of TV" series either

Wow, I don't think either of these things is remotely true, to the point where I'm not even sure how one could possibly get those ideas from watching his work.
posted by eugenen at 6:42 AM on May 12 [8 favorites]


My first thought when I saw this trailer was OMG, how amazing, and my second was, I hope Ellar Coltrane doesn't get warped by having his whole adolescence on screen.

But the interview made me feel a little better in that he seems ok with it and that they apparently didn't work more than few days a year, so it's not as bad as sitcom kids doing dozens of episodes a year.

I am excited. Linklater was the first (still one of the few) directors I paid any attention to. I don't actually enjoy watching most movies in a theater (sensory overload makes me anxious), but his movies, it's actually a good experience.
posted by emjaybee at 6:48 AM on May 12


Ethan Hawke was nominated for an Oscar. Twice. So no, I don't think he's overrated.

All of his performances give off the vibe that "hey, I have questionable facial hair, and a guitar, and a dog-eared copy of On the Road. You should totes fuck me." He depicts himself as a reformed bad boy/mysterious, thoughtful and deep pinup for "smart" women, and his performances just seem like he's patting himself on the back for this status.

Meanwhile, someone like Campbell Scott has done some really fascinating work that's not as high profile as the Before Sunrise/Sunset/Lunch series, and he's not afraid to look unflattering, or to play an asshole without distancing himself from the character he's playing and being all "I'M NOT LIKE THAT, SOMEONE GIVE ME AN OSCAR ALREADY". He also hasn't written a (bad) thinly-veiled autobiography or gone on the record as saying his wife's vagina got all loose after she had a kid. So there's that.

Also, on preview:

The "every sentence a deep and meaningful statement" of which I was thinking was Waking Life, which came off as such a naive exercise in freshman year dorm room philosophizing that I was actively embarrassed for Linklater when I was sitting in the theatre watching this. Also, his films are ugly. You can make dialogue- and character-driven features without making them all shot/reverse shot and depending on the local color to liven up the image, but he chooses not to. apparently.
posted by pxe2000 at 6:51 AM on May 12 [1 favorite]


There have been a bunch of tv series where we've watched the characters age and get older. I mean, just look at Bran on game of thrones.
posted by empath at 7:01 AM on May 12


Well -- I'm not the biggest WAKING LIFE fan, but "every sentence a deep and meaningful statement" was sort of the point of that rather unique film, so I don't think that's a terribly fair characterization of Linklater's work as a whole.

I absolutely disagree that his films are ugly -- even his more commercial efforts like the BAD NEWS BEARS remake are fluid and lovely IMO -- but such is subjectivity.
posted by eugenen at 7:07 AM on May 12 [1 favorite]


Last year's Before Midnight was a wonderful movie, sharply observed, beautifully filmed, realistically written...just a fantastic film, with lots of Ethan Hawke. Linklater's been on a roll lately and is clearly at the height of his powers, like Cronenberg during that run he had in the early/mid-2000s starting with Spider. It's so much fun to watch a director in that mode, and I can't wait to see this one.
posted by mediareport at 7:22 AM on May 12 [2 favorites]


Must have been odd to grow up as Linklater's daughter. You only get your allowance once a year, but it's SAG union scale.
posted by Naberius at 7:26 AM on May 12


How can someone say his visual style is like TV when the guy rotoscoped a feature length film?
posted by C.A.S. at 7:27 AM on May 12 [1 favorite]


Rotoscoped two feature length films. A beautiful commitment to painstakingly maddening tasks.
posted by dng at 7:32 AM on May 12


Linklater's penchant for stunt-casting in general gives his films an embarrassingly amateurish quality.

With the what now? Even if I am forgetting some egregious stunt casting somewhere, I don't think he has a tendency to do this. He tends to work with the same actors, for large and small parts. The only questionable (leaving aside the Ethan Hawke issue) casting thing I can think of is Zac Efron in Me and Orson Welles which, well, "teen heartthrob trying to do more 'legit' work" isn't always great, but it isn't exactly stunt-casting. He was also pretty well-received in it.

And Ethan Hawke vs (say) Campbell Scott is just sillyville. Not because either actor has any intrinsic quality or lack thereof - it just seems nuts to say that fairly serious actor A is totally an artist while fairly serious actor B is a joker, based on the fact that you think B LOOKS like he thinks a lot of himself while A (I suppose) doesn't. It's OK for you to feel that way, but it doesn't mean much outside of your head.

I feel like you are anti-Linklater for whatever reason (and hey: that's fine. That's why different people make different things - because different people like different things) but none of your statements about why make much sense to me.
posted by dirtdirt at 7:33 AM on May 12 [1 favorite]


To me, Linklater's films are all wish fulfillment, where the wish is, "I wish my friends liked me enough to indulge in conversations like these". Are they good, are they bad? I don't give a shit. What a stupid way to evaluate a film. They are made for me, every bit of every one of his movies, all made for people like me.
posted by jwhite1979 at 7:35 AM on May 12 [6 favorites]


I'm still disappointed that Linklater's breakthrough movie Slacker didn't make more of an impression on developing filmmakers.

It did. Slacker is literally the reason why Kevin Smith made Clerks and had a film career:

"And that's the movie [Slacker] that pushed me. It was like "Oh, my God," The whole ride home I'm like "look how simple it is. It's like there's nothing going on, it's dialogue, I can do this." This is the movie because this is approachable. I can do this."


So there's that.
posted by Ndwright at 7:44 AM on May 12 [1 favorite]


Nikita Mikhalkov's documentary film "Anna From Six to Eighteen" was shot over thirteen years, often illegally, starting in 1980. Mikhaklov interviews his daughter Anna Mikhalkova every year, asking the same questions each year. Anna grows up as the Soviet Union disintegrates and post-Soviet Russia lurches towards something that looks (at the time) like a bright and shining future. Anna's father tries to illuminate something of the relationship between the larger politics of their society and her personal development. Fascinating work. Unfortunately I have not been able to find it with English subtitles on line.
posted by jcrcarter at 7:50 AM on May 12 [2 favorites]


Ethan Hawke was nominated for an Oscar. Twice.

Actually, three times: he was nominated for Best Supporting Actor in Training Day and then for Best Adapted Screenplay twice for Before Sunset and Before Midnight (along with Linklater).

But here's the thing: all three nominations were absolutely deserved. Sunset and Midnight are excellent pieces of writing, whip-smart and pulling something off that's practically impossible: the single-long-conversation-as-movie in a way that's both cinematic and engaging. Those movies take what My Dinner With Andre did and go to the next level with it.

As for Training Day, Hawke made that movie work: he was the underpinning that justified Denzel Washington's bombast, because the wilder and more scenechewing a performance like Alonzo Harris gets, the more you need somebody to be the straight man so that the lead can bounce off them like a Superball. (Chris O'Donnell did the same thing in Scent of a Woman when Pacino was hoo-ahhing all over the place and O'Donnell's never gotten the proper credit for it.) Hawke's performance was subtle and restrained until he needed to be desperate when Harris exited stage left; he demonstrated range and unselfishness and skill in a single role and it was good to see the Academy give some recognition of the work he put into that role.
posted by mightygodking at 7:52 AM on May 12 [3 favorites]


Before "A.I." was released, one of the big rumors about the movie was that Kubrick had been shooting it over the course of several years so that the character could age naturally. Interesting to see someone actually do this. (The fan-made remake of "Raiders of the Lost Ark" that was done by some kids over the course of 7 or so years doesn't really count, I think.)
posted by rmd1023 at 8:06 AM on May 12 [1 favorite]


and when he's bad, he's bad, but still manages to be at least non-mediocre

Screw that. I loved Tape.
posted by valkyryn at 8:13 AM on May 12 [3 favorites]


Dude who's made the only decent adaptation of a P.K.D. book gets like 100 passes in my opinion.
posted by signal at 8:39 AM on May 12 [3 favorites]


To clarify: Blade Runner and Minority Report are good movies, IMO, but they're really far from their source material, especially Blade Runner, which completely abandons the whole ethos of Do Androids...
posted by signal at 8:42 AM on May 12


Wait, someone thinks one of Linklater's "bad" movies is Tape?

No way. It's stagey and wordy, sure, since it's an adapted play, but it's also a tight, fun, claustrophobic little film.
posted by mediareport at 9:16 AM on May 12 [1 favorite]


I remember reading an article about this when the actor was initially cast for the part, and have Google'd (probably actually Yahoo'd back then) it regularly since then, wondering what happened, and if the project had been abandoned. I remember him saying that he had no idea what was going to happen to the people involved and that, for example, the actors could get severe acne and that would become part of the story.

But just the idea stuck in my head for years, so I'm so excited that it actually happened.
posted by monkeystronghold at 10:15 AM on May 12


Dude who's made the only decent adaptation of a P.K.D. book

Really?
posted by cell divide at 10:22 AM on May 12


Yes really, he gets the paranoia, the weird mysticism, the bleak ending, etc. And he doesn't make it an action/adventure flick. And he nails the scramble suits.
posted by signal at 10:26 AM on May 12 [1 favorite]


From the youtube link:

No matter how many movies make about touching family films, Americans still cannot distract us from Syria, Ukraine and Iran forever´╗┐

...glad to see that push over to Real Names and Google-Plus-Only really worked out for killing that YouTube Comment Problem.
posted by jscott at 11:04 AM on May 12


cell divide: Yeah. It lifts whole chunks of dialogue from the book and really does capture the mood of the book. I saw that movie and was torn between wanting to find a way to go get high right then and wanting to never ever touch any drugs ever again.
posted by rmd1023 at 12:23 PM on May 12 [1 favorite]


signal: "Dude who's made the only decent adaptation of a P.K.D. book gets like 100 passes in my opinion."

I agree but there actually haven't been too many adaptions of Dick's novels, mostly it's been short stories.

The only Linkletter movie that I really didn't like was Bad News Bears but that was such a studio job that it didn't have much of his imprint on it.
posted by octothorpe at 1:13 PM on May 12


With the what now? Even if I am forgetting some egregious stunt casting somewhere
Off the top of my head, most of the casting in Dazed and Confused (specifically Ben Affleck and Milla), as well as Speed Levitch and Caveh Zahedi in Waking Life and ZEfron in Me & Orson Welles. And Avril Lavigne in Fast Food Nation.
Not because either actor has any intrinsic quality or lack thereof - it just seems nuts to say that fairly serious actor A is totally an artist while fairly serious actor B is a joker, based on the fact that you think B LOOKS like he thinks a lot of himself while A (I suppose) doesn't. It's OK for you to feel that way, but it doesn't mean much outside of your head.
Thank you for your condescension, it is much appreciated. Two very quick points and then I'll duck out:

Point the first. Hawke strikes me as really arrogant. This may seem like a ridiculous claim against an actor, since acting is a profession that requires arrogance, but I can think of several thesps off the top of my head who probably are legit arrogant. Because they have great skill and intelligence, the first thing that would pop into my head would not necessarily be "that dude is full of himself." Hawke's arrogance and smug quality permeates everything he does and puts a distance between who he's playing and the cool dude he wants us to think he is.

Point the second, this specifically in relation to Campbell Scott...I saw the Ronan Noone play The Atheist in Boston around the time (I believe) that Before Sunset dropped. Since I caught a preview performance, Scott flubbed his lines during the show and had to consult the script while he was still onstage. Even though this could have taken me out of the play, the fact that he managed to stay in character while he was prompting himself to remember his lines impressed me way more than Hawke's two hours of straining his arm while patting himself on the back for being such a "cool" "alternative" "hipster" guy in whichever passion project he was working on then.

Anyway, everyone here probably thinks I'm stinking up the thread, so I'll go entertain myself elsewhere.
posted by pxe2000 at 1:20 PM on May 12


Even if I am forgetting some egregious stunt casting somewhere

Off the top of my head, most of the casting in Dazed and Confused (specifically Ben Affleck and Milla)


Prior to Dazed and Confused, Ben Affleck was a relative unknown, having landed exactly one speaking role in a major motion picture (School Ties). Milla Jovovich, though somewhat more famous (having started out as a model), wasn't exactly a household name, as at the time of filming (1993) she had only appeared in three Hollywood productions (Return to Blue Lagoon, Kuffs, and Chaplin).

If that's stunt casting, then I guess there's no such thing as non-stunt casting.
posted by Atom Eyes at 2:37 PM on May 12 [4 favorites]


I've never read a more concrete example of how audiences project stuff onto actors. Why is Hawke smug? Or full of himself? Or assuming that everyone wants to sleep with him because of his cool attitude? Or we know what he wants us to think about him?

He's cool, alternative, hipster?. It almost sounds as if someone watched Reality Bites at a tender age while a college boyfriend/girlfriend ran off with a grunge bad bass player a little too close to Hawke's character in that film, and something stuck

Maybe its true, maybe its not. If we were talking about a track record in interviews out of character, or public statements, or something, it would be something else. But so far, this is argued out of perception and most of that based on watching performances in character I don't care one way or the other, but I'm fascinated by the process. I've watched my family feel things about actors for years, based on these vague perceptions.

Sure feels like an awful lot of projection without evidence.
posted by C.A.S. at 2:46 PM on May 12 [5 favorites]


Calling Linklater a genius is.. ...well stretching it.

Yes, he did the only faithful PKD adaptation. (Though for my money The Eternal Sunshine etc was a better PKD movie than any PKD movie). And he does have moments of brilliance.

But I remember watching '2 Days In Paris' and thinking it was a much better Linklater movie than anything Linklater had done in years. He's way, way too precious.

That being said, I'm really looking forward to this. It's a bold experiment and I prefer an ambitious failure to a mediocre success.
posted by lumpenprole at 4:20 PM on May 12


I don't know if he's a genius but his movies are generally interesting and worth watching and he's managed to stay relevant without resorting to making blockbusters.
posted by octothorpe at 5:55 PM on May 12


And he does have moments of brilliance.

That's more than most people achieve, I think.
posted by empath at 7:21 PM on May 12 [1 favorite]


Before Sunrise/Sunset/Midnight say more about romance, love and family than any artist could reasonably hope to. They may not make Linklater a genius, but they're the reason I'll watch any damn thing he puts out, and Boyhood looks especially tantalising.
posted by rory at 3:41 AM on May 13 [2 favorites]


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