by Landon Palmer.
John Pierson, the producer of Slacker and several other early features by notable directors of the American independent filmmaking renaissance of the ‘80s and ‘90s, once described Richard Linklater as the voice of a generation that wasn’t part of it: an art film brat who found himself at the center of a microbudget filmmaking movement who would “much rather talk about Robert Bresson’s Lancelot du Lac than either Jaws or The Brady Bunch.”
Yet Linklater’s filmography suggests that he’s just as comfortable with ascetic French minimalism as he is with American broadcast television. His career covers everything from no-budget chamber dramas like Tape to studio-backed kids’ movies like School of Rock to cult classics like Dazed and Confused and animated experiments like Waking Life.
While Linklater is notably comfortable making movies in his native Texas (he arguably defined Austin’s filmmaking and twentysomething scene without overtly seeking to instigate or capture either), as evidenced by the enthusiastic reception surrounding the third entry in his much beloved Before trilogy, he’s just as comfortable working on the continent that housed Bresson as he is the one that birthed Matthew McConaughey.
Time and again, Linklater has proven that all he needs to make a film is a camera, a setting, and some interesting conversation. So here’s a bit of free film school from the creative mind behind Before Midnight and general slackerdom.
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