Happy Birthday, Richard Linklater

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Richard Linklater, at Ebertfest 2013, presenting “Bernie.” Photo by yours truly.

Here’s my essay on Movie Mezzanine: Time After Time: Looking Back at “Before Sunrise”.

Here’s my review of Everybody Wants Some on Rogerebert.com.

Here’s my review of Boyhood.

Here’s my post on Bernie from Ebertfest 2013, with Richard Linklater in attendance and Jack Black calling in (a storm had wreaked havoc on his flight to O’Hare and he couldn’t get there in time: “I’m so sorry I can’t be there with you guys!” he moaned over the loudspeaker.)

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It is my belief that of all the Linklater films, in the future, when we are all ashes and dust, School of Rock will be the last one standing. It will outlive them all. I love the clips of the School of Rock 10-year reunion in Austin, with Jack Black and all the “kids”, now all grown up, giving a concert (Richard Linklater in attendance, seen in the crowd in some of the clips).

I also think Jack Black is one of the best actors working today – hands down – no contest – and Linklater recognizes that, and has given him two roles – two totally different roles – that show, without a shadow of a doubt, what he can do.

And here, of course, is the same song played in the original movie, with all of those little kids rocking out. Talk about an “uplifting movie”.

Richard Linklater is an American master. And his body of work will just grow in stature, even more than it has now. He gets good reviews, but compared to Paul Thomas Anderson or Steven Soderbergh – or maybe just because his films are so funny and usually don’t star A-Listers – he’s just not seen as this “weighty genius.” Weighty geniuses may take up most of the print in their day and age, but it’s those who make it look easy – those who do what they do better than anyone else – people like Michael Curtiz, for example – who often are the ones who create the works that really stand the test of time. Linklater, most definitely, will be one of those guys. Even more thrilling, he’s so YOUNG. He’s turning just 56 years old today! We have so much more to look forward to.

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