Publication Year: 2012
Published by: University of Illinois Press
Series: Contemporary Film Directors
Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
First, I want to thank James Naremore, whose initial encouragement and support throughout the project have been invaluable; at the University of Illinois Press, my thanks also goes to Joan Catapano, Daniel Nasset, Tad Ringo, Annette Wenda, Joe Peeples, and others whose hard work helped bring this book to fruition...
Time Is a Lie
Of course, this defiance of a basic pattern of authorship fits well with contemporary film studies, which tends to view director studies with skepticism, despite the enormous amount of work that continues to be produced in this area. One reason is simply the sense that any film is a collective venture, and...
Slowly Moving Trains, Welcome to Austin, and L-I-V-I-N
Texan by birth, a regional identity that weaves through several of his films, Richard Linklater grew up in the town of Huntsville and the city of Houston, where his mother and father lived, respectively. An aspiring fiction writer and, later, playwright, as well as a baseball player, Linklater attended Sam Houston State University for...
A Brief Encounter, the Road to Burnfield, and One Hell of a Way to Make a Living
Cinephilia is often characterized by a tendency to privilege fragments over the whole, particularly with individual moments in a film that take on even more charged meaning in the personal response of the viewer. (Some scholars have even suggested using such moments as ways of avoiding entrenched academic...
Dreaming in Digital, Motel Confessions, and the Poet of Wall Street
Late within Waking Life, the protagonist, having emerged yet again from one dream only to find himself in another, performs what many of us do in our minds, while asleep: a mundane task, rather than something fantastical. For this protagonist, that activity is watching television, and while channel surfing, he comes across...
For Those about to Rock, Late Afternoon in Paris, and Remixing a Little League Season
Linklater’s next film begins with a deceptively simple anecdote that belies the difficulties of script development: in this case, a recurring image that screenwriter Mike White had of his neighbor Jack Black. White had previously penned a script for producer Scott Rudin, Orange County (2002), about a would-be...
Little Blue Flowers and Echoes from the Slaughterhouse
The test is simple: in one hand, a toy elephant; in the other, an identical toy elephant. The man must confirm, while not looking, only feeling, that in each hand he holds the same object. But he cannot pass the test. Try as he might, his mind is already much too far gone to make this basic connection. In the summer of...
Fields of Play and Waiting for Orson
Writing to his friend Benjamin Bailey in 1817, poet John Keats reflected on the subject of happiness, “I look not for it if it be not in the present hour—nothing startles me beyond the Moment. The setting sun will always set me to rights—or if a Sparrow come before my Window I take part in its existince [sic] and pick about...
Interview with Richard Linklater
This interview took place in two phone conversations on November 30 and December 8, 2010, when Linklater spoke to me from his Detour office in Austin, Texas, while on postproduction for Bernie. Because we covered his entire filmography, our conversations generated more dialogue than would be possible to...