Monday, February 2, 2015
'21 Years: Richard Linklater' DVD: Indie Film Auteur Gets His Due
Breaking Glass Pictures makes one of the most clever and entertaining documentaries ever available on DVD in releasing "21 Years: Richard Linklater" in January 2015. This tribute to the indie filmmaker whose career throughout the titular period spans from his early cult classic "Slacker" to the more recent innovative hit "Boyhood" shows that Linklater truly is an actor's director.
Supplementing the numerous household name talking heads with awesome animation that mixes the bright colors and wide cheerful expressions of Disney fare with a highly compatible indie/grunge/slacker vibe makes an interesting film one that will always stick in your mind.
The enthusiasm of the big names, most of whom are veterans of Linklater movies, who participate in "21" for Linklater is infectious. He seemingly hooks all of them with the very low-budget "Slacker" and retains their admiration to the present.
"Sunrise" trilogy and "Boyhood" star Ethan Hawke deservedly gets the lion's share of the time in this film. It is clear that he and fellow Texan Linklater have a genuinely brotherly style relationship. This especially comes through in Hawke amusingly telling a tale of a call to Linklater at the request of studio executives gone terribly awry.
Hawke shows even greater love for our subject in recalling then-co-star Anthony Rapp, who also films an interview for "21," simultaneously calling the attention of Hawke to Linklater and "Slacker."
Texas is also well represented in this film in the form of Lone Star State native Matthew McConaughey, who is fully in his "alright alright" mode, discussing his experience filming "Dazed and Confused" for Linklater. The manner in which McConaughey conveys this experience makes it seem comparable to the group of then young (and mostly unknown) actors forming a band of brothers while filming the Coppola film "The Outisders."
"Outsiders" who share their admiration for Linklater include fellow indie film auteur Kevin Smith of "Clerks." Like Hawke, this Jersey boy seems to be a kindred spirit of Linklater.
Rather than try (and fail) to list the other celebrities who praise Linklater, it is safe to assume that anyone with a recognizable name and a role in a Linklater joint appears in "21."
The special features consist of a look at the aforementioned animation and a separate short that consists of interview outtakes.
Anyone with questions or comments regarding "21" is welcome to email me; you can also connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy,