Film Hub




Movie Review: Richard Linklater's 'Boyhood' Is A Beautiful, Naturalistic 12-Year Journey

Boyhood1

BY JOSEPH EHRMAN-DUPRE

Boyhood is a concept film, but it does not feel like one. Filmed over 12 consecutive years, using the same actors to portray the same characters as they age naturally, Richard Linklater’s newest feature is a structured journey through time. The best part about it, though, is that the nearly three hour, briskly paced film feels unstructured and unrestrained, a listless walk (and sometimes run) alongside Mason (Ellar Coltrane, bravely putting his most awkward years on display). 

Boyhood3The narrative of the film, befitting its sprawling time frame, is difficult to describe succinctly. It feels as though a great deal happens, and also as if nothing happens, a mirror held up to the swiftly moving complexity of lives that sometimes feel dull and plodding. We do get to know several characters well along the way, though. Mason’s single mom (Patricia Arquette) has bad luck choosing men and proves alternately caring and prickly toward her son and daughter, Samantha (Lorelei Linklater, the director’s daughter and a natural comedian). Their dad, (Ethan Hawke, who grows more handsome as the film progresses) when we first meet him, has been largely absent, but, when he decides to come around, figures as an exciting and likable savior from the mundanity of everyday life. 

As a child, Mason and his sister go bowling with dad; a neighborhood friend shows off a Victoria’s Secret catalogue and they ogle the women inside; mom remarries a psychology professor and goes back to school herself. In his early teenage years, Mason drinks his first beer and alludes to several girlfriends (“We have nothing in common,” he laments to his dad) and his mom undergoes yet another divorce. High school brings a focused interest in photography, first time employment, a serious girlfriend, and the beginnings of collegiate aspiration. Cultural artifacts, from Obama-Biden campaign signs to Harry Potter midnight release parties, fill in the nooks and crannies.

Boyhood4It is incredible, really, just how much life Linklater brings into focus, and how easily enjoyable the film remains throughout. He avoids ticking off easy categories of development, opting instead for intimate scenes of sometimes awkward dialogue between members of the family, their friends, and acquaintances. Mom bears the heaviest emotional load, dad remains aloof and carefree, and the kids seem to be doing exactly what they would be doing when they aren’t shooting a film. It is clear that Linklater collaborated with his actors on the screenplay, which never feels forced.

The film is shot in a naturalistic style as well, unconcerned with picturesque beauty--save for when the characters themselves notice it--and captivated by the constantly shifting faces of Mason, his parents, and his sister. Also changing is the soundtrack, an audible timeline for those who will recognize minute evolutions in popular music across the twelve-year progression. Linklater thankfully never keeps viewers guessing about Mason’s age, though, slyly editing between years in a way that never interrupts, and sometimes enhances, the narrative thrust. When mom meets the professor she will marry, for instance, he suggestively intones that their kids should have a play date while Mason looks on, seeing his mom blush perhaps for the first time; we cut at least one year into the future and Mason, Samantha, and two other children are bouncing on a trampoline in the backyard of a comparatively palatial residence. Mom and her new hubby are just returning from their honeymoon, and the audience is instantly aware of what sort of change has occurred.

Boyhood is a joyride, really, a pleasure cruise that left me smiling and feeling, well, alive. It resonates on such a deep level because it is so deeply personal, a collaboration between artists who spent over a decade developing characters and getting to know each other just as a family does. It has imperfections: the children’s acting in particular can feel wooden, we miss all the times that are left out, and there could be more moments of driving dramatic force. But after leaving the theater, I found myself forgiving those flaws entirely. Perhaps it is because of Linklater’s ambition and the relative aplomb with which he pulled off his vision, or perhaps it is because in life itself, flaws abound. 

Flaws and all, Boyhood is sure to be one of the most unique and fulfilling cinematic experiences you’ll experience anytime soon.

Boyhood is now open in theaters nationwide. 

Check out a trailer for the film, AFTER THE JUMP...

Boyhood2

Continue reading "Movie Review: Richard Linklater's 'Boyhood' Is A Beautiful, Naturalistic 12-Year Journey" »


NewFest, NYC's Premier LGBT Film Festival, Opens: VIDEO

Thecircle

The Film Society of Lincoln Center and OutFest combine forces this week to bring you NewFest, New York City's largest LGBT film festival.

NewFestFrom July 24th thru July 29th, NewFest will screen a series of wonderfully-curated narrative, documentary, and short films from a diverse array of directors. Nathaniel Rogers recently reviewed Futuro Beach and Gerontophilia, the opening and closing night selections, but there are many others to see in between.

Sure bets (based on other film fest's awards, including LA's OutFest) include: The Circle, a documentary about the Swiss underground gay movement post-WWII, Lilting, about a boyfriend and mother grieving the same death on very different terms, and The Way He Looks, a coming-of-age narrative about a blind teenager's affections for a new friend. 

Head over to the Film Society of Lincoln Center site to purchase tickets, and check out a trailer for the festival, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "NewFest, NYC's Premier LGBT Film Festival, Opens: VIDEO" »


Sleek, Sexy Trailer For 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' Has Finally Arrived: VIDEO

Grey1

The focus is all on Anastasia Steele and, of course, Mr. Christian Grey in the just-released first trailer for the highly anticipated film adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey. The movie is sure to be a hit with the "housewife" demographic that initially made the book a best seller, but given Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan's brooding good looks, anyone could be enticed to see it.

While there are a few light-hearted moments in the trailer, the film seems to revel in the darkness of Grey's mysterious past and the lusty intrigue of his present. One thing's for certain: it all looks uber-sexy. 

Check out the trailer, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Sleek, Sexy Trailer For 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' Has Finally Arrived: VIDEO" »


New 'Saint Laurent' Biopic Gives a Noir Feel To Fashion Icon: VIDEO

Ysl_a

Yves Saint Laurent, the renowned French fashion designer — celebrated for bringing stylish, ready-to-wear clothing to high-end consumers and using non-white models — has an artistic biopic coming out called Saint Laurent.

The trailer is entirely in French, but the editing and camerawork give it the feel of a noir thriller. Another biopic about the famed designer also came out earlier this year.

Laurent and his long-time partner Pierre Bergé joined in a French civil union a few days before Laurent died of a brain tumor. The auction of his estate brought in over $522 million.

Watch the trailer AFTER THE JUMP…

Ysl_b

Continue reading "New 'Saint Laurent' Biopic Gives a Noir Feel To Fashion Icon: VIDEO" »


Is Jake Gyllenhaal's 'Nightcrawler' His Darkest Role Since 'Donnie Darko'? - VIDEO

Gyllenhaal

In what may be his darkest role since Donnie Darko actor Jake Gyllenhaal stars in the upcoming psychological thriller Nightcrawler as Lou Bloom a desperately ambitious cameraman who seeks out murder scenes, fires and car crashes to sell to broadcast television.

Apparently, Bloom’s ambition and nighttime activities turn him into a frightening creature — aided, of course, by the 20 pounds that Gyllenhaal dropped for the role. Gyllenhaal played an obsessed journalist hunting down a serial killer in the 2007 film Zodiac, but in that film he was a good guy. Nightcrawler has Gyllenhaal returning to his antihero roots where the line between good guy and monster gets blurrier with each frame .

The film also features Rene Russo playing “a veteran of the blood-sport that is local TV news.” It comes out in theaters October 17.

Watch the video AFTER THE JUMP…

Nightcrawler

Continue reading "Is Jake Gyllenhaal's 'Nightcrawler' His Darkest Role Since 'Donnie Darko'? - VIDEO" »


NewFest Films: 'Futuro Beach' and 'Gerontophilia'

  Gerontophilia
Bruce LaBruce's newest provocation is intergenerational romance

BY NATHANIEL ROGERS 

Help, he’s drowning! In good movies so don’t rush to the rescue. Both the opening and closing night films of this week’s satisfying NewFest (July 24th-29th), NYC's annual LGBT film festival in partnership with OutFest, begin with a drowning. Both drownings become romantic catalysts for the lifeguard, but the films couldn’t be more different in tone or purpose so it’s surely a coincidence. NewFest got the order right, opening with the dramatic punch and ending with a sweet drive into the sunset.

In the Brazilian/German film FUTURO BEACH, which opens the annual LGBT film festival tomorrow, two tourists are hit by violent waves. Lifeguards rush in to save them but only one survives. Donato (Wagner Moura) shaken up by losing his first swimmer, seeks out the survivor's friend, a sporty motorbike enthusiast named Konrad (Clemens Schick) to explain the process for dealing with the body. Soon they're angrily rutting, caught up in the disorienting and wrenching drama. Their hookup appears destined to burn bright and die quick due to its emotionally disconnected start and its rapid and frank visual presentation -- English language cinema still lags far behind European cinema in its depictions of sex; the full frontal here is presented as if it’s no big deal.

MORE ON BOTH FILMS AFTER THE JUMP...

FUTURO-arms

Continue reading "NewFest Films: 'Futuro Beach' and 'Gerontophilia'" »


Trending



Towleroad - Blogged