Last night, Richard Linklater hit the Los Angeles Film Festival to unveil his latest film, the black comedy "Bernie." We caught up with Linklater on the red carpet and while comparisons to "Fargo" have been thrown around, he told us he doesn't understand where those parallels are coming from (he actually was the one who first mentioned any similarities to the Coen brothers film) and the only connecting tissue is that they are both based on true crime stories (well, actually, "Fargo" isn't). Anyway, the film stars Jack Black, Matthew McConaughey and Shirley MacLaine and centers on the titular character (Black), a beloved mortician in small Texas town who befriends a mean old widow (MacLaine) and commits a horrific crime. And while you'll just have to wait a moment to get our thoughts on the film, Linklater did talk about a couple long gestating projects he has in the works.
Our IndieWire colleague Eric Kohn caught up with Linklater at the festival and got a bit more info out of him about "Boyhood" aka "Growing Up," a film the director began shooting in 2002 and has been filming intermittently over the course of one actor's actual childhood with the final product aiming to chronicle the life a boy from the age of six to twelfth grade. And we're still a way off from seeing it. "It’s about a kid growing up. I shoot a little bit of it each year. I have three years left on it," he said.
Well, the math adds up. Back in 2009, he revealed he had five years left to go so he seems to be chugging along at his regular pace. The project stars Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette as parents raising a young boy who is played by Ellar Salmon, in a role that will see him age naturally on screen over time. And given the epic scope, he has said previously the film will be at least two and half hours long -- but it does promise to be unlike anything seen before with an approach few filmmakers have endeavored aside from -- most notably -- Michael Apted and his "7 Up" series.
"I’ve seen the first cut of the first seven years," Hawke said last year. "And it’s definitely one of the most interesting things I have ever been a part of, no doubt...About 20 minutes, your eyes just start tearing up and you don’t even know why. It’s about the nature of time and how it’s crashing into us all." Sounds very similar in feel to another movie that came out this year directed by a guy whose name rhymes with Merrence Talick.
But that's not all Linklater has on his plate. Our own Leah Zak chatted with the director about his spiritual sequel to "Dazed & Confused" -- titled "That's What I'm Talking About" -- that had McConaughey in loose talks to star but that was shelved in the summer of 2009 after financing couldn't come together.
"'Dazed and Confused' is my high school, this is my college," he said about the sequel of sorts, noting that it has different characters and a different group of people from the first film (how Wooderson fits in, remains to be seen). But for those paying attention, this may sound familiar. When the project first started cropping up, the plot was revealed to be set in 1980 and following the first weekend at a college. We would still love to see it get it made, and if the reception around "Bernie" so far means anything, Linklater may be back on the rise and able to get it off the ground once more.