839 Boyhood

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sorrysomehow
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839 Boyhood

#1 Post by sorrysomehow » Tue Sep 03, 2013 8:33 pm

Boyhood

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There has never been another movie like Boyhood, from director Richard Linklater. An event film of the utmost modesty, it was shot over the course of twelve years in the director's native Texas and charts the physical and emotional changes experienced by a child named Mason (Ellar Coltrane), his divorced parents (Patricia Arquette, who won an Oscar for her performance, and Ethan Hawke), and his older sister (Lorelei Linklater). Alighting not on milestones but on the small, in-between moments that make up our lives, Linklater fashions a flawlessly acted, often funny portrait that flows effortlessly from one year to the next. Allowing us to watch people age on film with documentary realism while gripping us in a fictional narrative of exquisite everydayness, Boyhood has a power that only the art of cinema could harness.

DIRECTOR-APPROVED EDITION

• New 2K digital transfer, supervised by director Richard Linklater, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
• New audio commentary featuring Linklater and nine members of the cast and crew
• New documentary chronicling the film's production, featuring footage shot over the course of its twelve years
• New discussion featuring Linklater and actors Patricia Arquette and Ellar Coltrane, moderated by producer John Pierson
• New conversation between Coltrane and actor Ethan Hawke
• New video essay by critic Michael Koresky about time in Linklater's films, narrated by Coltrane
• Collection of portraits of cast and crew by photographer Matt Lankes, narrated with personal thoughts from Linklater, Arquette, Hawke, Coltrane and producer Cathleen Sutherland
• PLUS: An essay by novelist Jonathan Lethem

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Jeff
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Boyhood (Richard Linklater, 2014)

#2 Post by Jeff » Mon Jan 20, 2014 11:36 am

sorrysomehow wrote:Ethan Hawke says Linklater's Boyhood should be hitting the festival circuit next year.

I've been insanely curious about this film after finding out about the project a couple of years ago. Hopefully it turns out well.
For the second time in as many years, Linklater has pulled his "That movie you've all been waiting years for? Surprise! It's done and I'm showing it at Sundance" trick. It sounds like he's made another masterpiece too.

Boyhood shot for 39 days, a few at a time, over the past 12 years. It traces the life of a family during that time, framed through the eyes of a boy who ages from six to 18 throughout the course of the film.

It sounds like we don't just see the boy grow up, but Linklater and his actors as well. Some early scenes that reportedly feature dodgy acting and writing give way to some of Linklater's Before-esque best near the end.

Eric Kohn has the first (glowing) full-length review.

Some tweets:
Steven Weintraub wrote:Woke up still thinking about Linklater's BOYHOOD. Absolutely blown away by the film and what he accomplished.
Jordan Hoffman wrote:Forget the quality of the film for a moment - the achievement that is BOYHOOD is astounding. It's also pretty damn good, too.
Peter Howell wrote:BOYHOOD: 12 yrs after Linklater began his boy-to-teen film, magic occurs at #Sundance 2014: a life, & all our lives, unfolds before our eyes
Guy Lodge wrote:BOYHOOD (A-) The title feels insufficient. How we build and rebuild lives, personalities, families, homes. Vast and yet beguilingly small.
Peter Sciretta wrote:Linklater has truly created a special film with Boyhood. A time-capsule of childhood - Unlike anything you've ever seen before.
Jake Howell wrote:BOYHOOD: I've seen a lot of movies. I've never seen anything like it.
Alonso Duralde wrote:It's gonna take me a while to find the words for BOYHOOD, but it's a singular, joyous achievement.
C. Mason Wells wrote:Don't want to say too much about BOYHOOD yet, but the way Linklater handles the passage of time is Pialat-level astonishing.

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mfunk9786
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Re: Boyhood (Richard Linklater, 2014)

#3 Post by mfunk9786 » Mon Jan 20, 2014 11:58 am

Oh man. My anticipation for this film just skyrocketed, as if it weren't already high enough

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Jeff
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Re: Boyhood (Richard Linklater, 2014)

#4 Post by Jeff » Mon Jan 20, 2014 12:05 pm

Apparently Jonathan Sehring (president of IFC and former programming director at Janus) has been financing the shoot for the past 12 years. It's still a bit unclear if he'll distribute via IFC or sell the rights to a bigger studio.

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Re: Boyhood (Richard Linklater, 2014)

#5 Post by mfunk9786 » Mon Jan 20, 2014 12:09 pm

The film is obviously finished now, but it brings out a paranoia in me that I always have with long form television like The Sopranos, Breaking Bad, Mad Men, etc that goes on for several seasons/years but is telling a story that has an endpoint - it's wonderful that everyone involved with the film remained healthy over this 12 year span. Ethan Hawke gets hit by a bus six years ago, and what does Linklater do with his half-finished film? I realize that sounds cold - but it's something that always enters my mind when there's long hiatuses between shooting parts of a lengthy project.

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Re: Boyhood (Richard Linklater, 2014)

#6 Post by Zot! » Mon Jan 20, 2014 12:18 pm

C. Mason Wells wrote:Don't want to say too much about BOYHOOD yet, but the way Linklater handles the passage of time is Pialat-level astonishing.
In what movie is Pialat dealing with passage of time?

Otherwise, looking forward to this.

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Jeff
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Re: Boyhood (Richard Linklater, 2014)

#7 Post by Jeff » Mon Jan 20, 2014 12:31 pm

Zot! wrote:In what movie is Pialat dealing with passage of time?
On a smaller scale, We Won't Grow Old Together. Perhaps Wells is just referring to Pialat's elliptical narrative style.

Here's Owen Gleiberman's take on Boyhood.

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knives
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Re: Boyhood (Richard Linklater, 2014)

#8 Post by knives » Mon Jan 20, 2014 2:35 pm

There's also A nos amours. Really in general I think Pialat is great at showing the passage of time so if it is something similar that's what has me got.

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captveg
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Re: Boyhood (Richard Linklater, 2014)

#9 Post by captveg » Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:00 pm

I've heard little things about this one off and on through the last few years. Glad to know it's finished and about to get released.

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Re: Boyhood (Richard Linklater, 2014)

#10 Post by ianungstad » Mon Jan 20, 2014 7:00 pm

I would be surprised if IFC sells on domestic. They can handle a specialty release just fine and while reviews have been rapturous; quite a few mention that any commercial prospects will be challenging.

Boyhood and Calvary (and the Ebert doc Life Itself) seem to be the Sundance darlings. A bit odd that both are not in competition.

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jbeall
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Re: Boyhood (Richard Linklater, 2014)

#11 Post by jbeall » Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:06 am

I can't wait, especially since Before Midnight was my favorite film of 2013.

Andrew O'Hehir raves:
What we have here, on first viewing, is something awfully close to a masterpiece of American moviemaking, as well as a film that uses time to tell its story in an unprecedented fashion. One of the precedents, I suppose, is the love-and-marriage trilogy beginning with “Before Sunrise” that Linklater has made with Hawke and Julie Delpy, although those tell discrete stories separated by many years. “Boyhood” is something else again, almost a combination of Michael Apted’s “Up” documentaries, Bergman’s “Fanny and Alexander” and Orson Welles’ “The Magnificent Ambersons,” but translated into Linklater’s Texas-Zen indie idiom and the world of the 21st-century American family. It’s a world of marvels, one I can’t wait to experience again.

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hearthesilence
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Re: Boyhood (Richard Linklater, 2014)

#12 Post by hearthesilence » Tue Jan 21, 2014 3:52 pm

Hope this is a huge hit - I've mentioned it and sent links to just a handful of friends who don't travel in the same circles and they all were ecstatic about it.

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GaryC
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Re: Boyhood (Richard Linklater, 2014)

#13 Post by GaryC » Wed Jan 22, 2014 2:16 am

Michael Winterbottom did a similar thing with Everyday, which he shot piecemeal over five years, so that the four children of the characters played by John Simm and Shirley Henderson could age in real time while Simm's character served a jail sentence. That was more an exercise in character observation than much in the way of narrative.

Given the twelve-year production time, was this shot on film or digital, or a mixture of both? (Before Midnight was digital, the previous two were 35mm.)

I certainly do want to see this, given that I've liked most of Linklater's films up to now. No idea when it will be shown in the UK yet - if it plays the Edinburgh and London film festivals, that won't be until August and October.

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hearthesilence
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Re: Boyhood (Richard Linklater, 2014)

#14 Post by hearthesilence » Wed Jan 22, 2014 10:29 am

Good question. I would think film simply because the shoots themselves are so brief, and most of the film might've been shot before digital became a viable option that would match the film shots. But IFC has had to wade through tough times, so if money was that tight, maybe there was a switch.

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Kirkinson
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Re: Boyhood (Richard Linklater, 2014)

#15 Post by Kirkinson » Wed Jan 22, 2014 2:04 pm

Looks like it was shot on film, at least primarily - this comes straight from Kodak, so if there was some digital as well I can easily imagine them simply choosing not to mention it!

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Professor Wagstaff
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Re: Boyhood (Richard Linklater, 2014)

#16 Post by Professor Wagstaff » Fri Apr 25, 2014 1:06 pm


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Re: Boyhood (Richard Linklater, 2014)

#17 Post by Movie-Brat » Fri Apr 25, 2014 2:26 pm

I think I read about this movie years on IMDB. I don't remember my reaction at the time but I probably thought, "Wow, that's new."

Seeing the trailer, it looks good and I'm really curious to see how it turns out because even from the start it sounded like an impressively ambitious project.

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sir_luke
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Boyhood (Richard Linklater, 2014)

#18 Post by sir_luke » Fri Apr 25, 2014 3:08 pm

This has probably been addressed before elsewhere on the forum, but what are the chances of Criterion handling the initial home video release? Considering their relationship with both IFC and Linklater, plus the fact that Criterion has been doing a quite a bit of promotion for the film on the Current and their Twitter profile?
EDIT: They just posted the trailer on Twitter.

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Jeff
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Re: Boyhood (Richard Linklater, 2014)

#19 Post by Jeff » Fri Apr 25, 2014 7:18 pm

sir_luke wrote:This has probably been addressed before elsewhere on the forum, but what are the chances of Criterion handling the initial home video release?
About 99.9%* They have a first-look deal with IFC, so short of Peter Becker arbitrarily deciding "Nah, fuck that critically acclaimed movie by a guy we're friends with," it's going to happen.

* 0.1% = Errol Morris' Tabloid

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Re: Boyhood (Richard Linklater, 2014)

#20 Post by bdsweeney » Fri Apr 25, 2014 7:50 pm

The advertising is pushing the 'uniqueness' of the way the film was shot. While not as ambitious as 12 years, I'm at least aware of Winterbottom's 'Everyday' that was filmed a few weeks at a time over five years. There's probably other examples I'm not aware of. I guess the way it's charting the growth of a child within a fictional narrative gives it some uniqueness as opposed to (say) the 7-up series.

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Re: Boyhood (Richard Linklater, 2014)

#21 Post by ianthemovie » Sat Apr 26, 2014 3:35 pm

I saw this last night at IFF Boston and really loved it. It was quite a bit longer than I had expected, and I'm still processing much of it, but I'll say that it's hugely entertaining and very moving without resorting to cheap sentiment. There really is something about watching these characters and actors--all of them, not just the boy--grow and change over time that is deeply affecting. You could call this a gimmick, but Linklater deploys it beautifully. It's also interesting (and strangely emotional) to watch these actors, not to mention Linklater himself, develop as craftsmen over the course of 12 years in the span of a 2.5-hour film. Linklater's writing and directing, and the quality of the acting overall, are much more sure-handed and confident in the last hour than in the first. You really get a sense of how much Linklater has grown as a filmmaker in this last decade, due to the time compression.

The plot, such as it is, is admittedly loose and shaggy. I'm not sure how far in advance Linklater had the entire story sketched out, or whether he made it up as he went along (and also whether the actors were involved in the plot and screenplay, the way that Julie Deply and Hawke are in the Before films). Whatever the process was I found this to work in the interest of the film rather than detracting from it. You get the feeling that you're seeing life unfold over a long period of time; characters drop in and out; some resurface much later. There are a few "big life moment" scenes, but even these are mostly grounded in intimate details and conversations between characters. That is to say that this is very much a film driven by characters and relationships.

In a way this feels like a kind of summa of Linklater's career, as it contains so many of his trademarks: his interest in youth culture and how young people talk/interact/socialize, how love and relationships develop over time, Texas culture (there's a coffee shop scene set in Austin that recalls Slacker), popular music (Ethan Hawke's character is a rock musician), philosophical musings on time, knowledge, and experience.

My only complaints might be that some of the transitions between time periods are a little awkward, as characters have to do some telegraphing ("Things are difficult now that [X] has happened...") The cultural sign-posting sometimes feels a bit shoe-horned-in as well ("Email me those pictures so I can upload them to Facebook!", etc.). On the whole, though, this is such an ambitious project, and it works so well, that I can only commend it. Very warmly received by a nearly sold-out crowd, too, FWIW.

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Dylan
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Re: Boyhood (Richard Linklater, 2014)

#22 Post by Dylan » Sat Apr 26, 2014 9:27 pm

It's also interesting (and strangely emotional) to watch these actors, not to mention Linklater himself, develop as craftsmen over the course of 12 years in the span of a 2.5-hour film.
One thing I'm very curious about is if at some point in the film (perhaps in the final section, whatever year/age that is) the format switches from 35mm to digital. Did you perhaps notice the aesthetic having a more digital look at some point late in the film? We know based on that Kodak webpage that at least some of Boyhood was shot on 35mm. If the format does change at some point in the film, for me that would be just as fascinating as watching the actors age.

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Re: Boyhood (Richard Linklater, 2014)

#23 Post by RyanGallagher » Sat Apr 26, 2014 11:21 pm

Dylan wrote:
It's also interesting (and strangely emotional) to watch these actors, not to mention Linklater himself, develop as craftsmen over the course of 12 years in the span of a 2.5-hour film.
One thing I'm very curious about is if at some point in the film (perhaps in the final section, whatever year/age that is) the format switches from 35mm to digital. Did you perhaps notice the aesthetic having a more digital look at some point late in the film? We know based on that Kodak webpage that at least some of Boyhood was shot on 35mm. If the format does change at some point in the film, for me that would be just as fascinating as watching the actors age.
Linklater was asked about this at the SXSW screening, and said that he shot it all on film, to avoid this problem.

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Re: Boyhood (Richard Linklater, 2014)

#24 Post by ianthemovie » Sun Apr 27, 2014 10:07 am

I actually did notice this a bit in the first hour or so. The beginning scenes look generally "softer," less crisp, and slightly more washed-out than the later ones. The best way I can describe it is to say that the beginning looked a little bit like watching a SD-DVD from the late 90s/early 2000s, while the ending looked more like the quality of a Blu-Ray. (I realize that's a problematic comparison but it's the best way I can describe it, given my lack of technical knowledge about film stocks. Hoping that someone with more knowledge of this might be able to jump in here and explain better.)

I should say that this makes the earlier scenes sound uglier than they are; it's by no means an ugly film, but the differences are noticeable.

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Re: Boyhood (Richard Linklater, 2014)

#25 Post by Movie-Brat » Sun Apr 27, 2014 1:41 pm

I think it adds something. He did film it over 12 years, so it's fitting given the boy's growth throughout the movie.

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