Watch the whole thing HERE!
Posts Tagged ‘Before Sunrise’
Watch the whole thing HERE!
Watch the whole thing HERE!
Richard Linklater’s new film Everybody Wants Some!! is set in that sweet spot between Saturday Night Fever and the Reagan Years. Ripe with feathered hair, bell bottom pants and milk crates used as LP storage, it’s the story of college life over the course of one weekend in 1980 set to the throbbing beat of disco and new wave music.
“It was a raunchy time,” says Linklater. “It was pretty hedonistic. Sex, drugs and rock and roll. I had to impose that back on my cast. Disco was sex. Dancing was foreplay. You were hoping to keep it going and that it would get personal. The humour was really raunchy. It was not innocent but there was a certain kind of playfulness to it.”
The fifty-five year old director calls the 1980s “a good time for me. A good time to be in your twenties. I was that guy who took his album collection and his music and his speakers off to college. My entire net worth at that age was in music.”
“You do a movie to examine your feelings or what you think,” he says. “I thought a lot about my own life at that time and also the culture. It’s my little anthropological look [at 1980]. I came out of it thinking that was the end of something. The eighties got much more serious. There was the AIDS epidemic but also there was the cultural backlash. There was the Reagan administration, Pat Robertson, [Jerry] Falwell and it kind of a war and not only a war on drugs. They were trying to move the culture back to the fifties or some mythical past before all this corruption, i.e. the freedoms of the sixties, women’s liberation. That was really in full gear by 82, 83 so I look at this and think, this was the last time there was that unabashed, raunchy hedonistic pure fun. I look at it and go, that was a good time to be young because that was all going to change.”
The Texas born filmmaker says he spent his 80s college years underground, immersed in punk rock. “It was getting kind of ugly in accepted culture so I zoned out a lot of it.” Since then he has made a career chronicling contemporary suburban culture in films like Slacker, Dazed and Confused and most recently in the twelve-years-in-the-making Boyhood. Along the way he’s learned a thing or two about how society is changing.
“I think the culture has actually changed less and less,” he says. “I observed that on Boyhood. I thought the world would look a lot different in those twelve years. If you take 1969 to 1981 you got a lot of different looks, cars, everything. In Boyhood nothing changed. The phones changed but the cars all looked the same, the hairstyles. I think we’ve hit a wall. Technology is so quick moving that it satisfies that desire in us for change. Punk comes out of [the idea] that I want something new. I don’t think humans don’t feel that deep need for demonstrable rejection of the old and embracing of the new because they feel there is so much being satisfied technologically. Whatever urge that was to stick a safety pin in your cheek and go create a new dance, you don’t see that anymore.”
Director Richard Linklater’s last film, the Oscar wining “Boyhood,” was a slice of life that showcased twelve years in the life of a growing boy. His new movie is also a slice of life but in a much-condensed form, spanning just three days in the life of a college baseball player.
It’s 1980 and when we first meet Jake (Blake Jenner) driving toward the next phase of his life, college. In the backseat are a small bag of clothes and a milk carton filled with his favourite LPs. Arriving just three days before classes start, he bonds with his teammates over KISS pinball machines, longneck Lone Star beers and boings filled with Maui Waui. They party, talk baseball, play a more violent version of Rock! Paper! Scissors! called “knuckles” and try and meet girls as the clock ticks down to the first day of classes.
Largely conflict free, this isn’t a story so much as it is a snapshot of a time and place. It’s a transport back to the time of waterbeds, “My Sharona,” fashionable mullets and trippy Carl Sagan cosmology. Linklater recreates the freewheeling feel of the era and the last blast of childhood before the responsibilities of adulthood. The temptation will be to label this a more innocent time, but that isn’t exactly accurate. These guys are just as interested in scoring with girls as they are soring runs on the field so innocent they are not. At most this is an affectionately nostalgic glimpse back into our recent past.
“Everybody Wants Some!!” is a charming reminiscence. Linklater gets the details right—including a crude warning against the pleasures of waterbed sex—but more importantly populates the film with characters that feel like real people and not stereotypes conjured up by a 1980s way-back machine. It’s troubling that the female characters are given little to do—perhaps Linklater’s next could be from the point of view of the woman’s experience—but the men are entertaining and compelling sorts whose conversations are occasionally inane, occasionally philosophical, just like real life.
In the last shot of “Everybody Wants Some!!”Jake watches his professor scrawl “Frontiers Are Where You Find Them” on the blackboard. The film doesn’t bother with its character’s boundaries, choosing instead to introduce to them as they are beginning the searching for their frontiers. The movie and its characters live in the moment, and that’s a pretty fun place to be.
Traditional wisdom has it that January is a dumping ground for bad movies.
“Everyone is broke after shelling out for Christmas presents,” the studios say. “The weather is crappy and anyone leaving the house is going to the gym instead of the movies,” complain the suits.
That’s why clunkers like One for the Money, a Katherine Heigl crime drama with a two per cent Rotten Tomatoes rating and Season of the Witch — which saw Nicolas Cage go all medieval on the forces of evil and strain his credibility as an actor — made the lives of critics and audiences miserable on long, cold winter nights in bygone Januarys. Why waste good movies when no one was likely to go?
Years ago studios threw the odd quality film into the January mix — Traffic, Good Will Hunting, Before Sunrise, Dr. Strangelove and Silence of the Lambs—but every good movie like Matinee (92 per cent on RT) was balanced out with a stinker like Body of Evidence and its paltry six per cent rating.
There is still that yin and yang as last week’s releases of The Boy Next Door and Mortdecai (two movies that will decorate Worst Of the Year lists) proves, but the tide seems to be changing. Perhaps that’s why Project Almanac, a time-travel drama from producer Michael Bay, moved from a prime July release date to the barren January slate. Surely Bay, as savvy a player as Hollywood has, wouldn’t allow his movie to be tossed out with the trash.
The reason given for the schedule move was that Bay himself wanted to sprinkle some of his Transformers’ fairy dust to pump up the film’s appeal to young audiences. But it’s also apparent that a micro-budget movie like Project Almanac, even with Bay’s name attached, could get lost in a summer filled with large-scale offerings like Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, so why not release in a less crowded, but increasingly profitable field?
What used to be a time to fill screens with borderline cheesefests has become a viable month to release a movie.
Last year big crowds braved the polar vortex to help the Kevin Hart comedy Ride Along set a January opening record. This year the Oscar-nominated Selma and Still Alice have opened wide in a month usually reserved for Golden Raspberry winners. Perhaps the biggest story of 2015 so far is the success of Clint Eastwood’s Chris Kyle biopic, American Sniper, which has raked in upwards of $170 million in just two weeks. The success of that film is as strong an indicator as Hollywood needs that January is no longer a no-go zone.
That movie saw twenty-somethings Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy as American tourist Jesse and Celine, a student at the Sorbonne, strangers who meet on a European train. They flirt and talk about life, death and everything in between, and in the process fall in love, if only for one night.
A second film, “Before Sunset,” saw the pair meet again in Paris nine years later. Jesse is now a successful author, having penned a steamy novel about their night on the train. They reconnect onthe French leg of a promotional tour for the novel and spend another day talking, but this time it’s different. They aren’t the flippant kids iof the first movie, and this time around they acknowledge the instinctual link that binds them. It also ends with one of the sexiest lines in the movies: “Baby, you are gonna miss that plane.”
The new film, “Before Midnight,” brings them together at yet another stage of their lives—as a committed couple with twin daughters. This time they’re on vacation in Greece contemplating the changing nature of their relationship over the years since they first met.
If you’re a fan of the “Before” movies—and I am an unabashed admirer—the experience of watching “Before Midnight” will be like reconnecting with old friends.
There is an authenticity to these films that comes from director Richard Linklater’s subtle style. Long documentary style conversational takes and terrific natural performances from the cast—particularly Hawke and Delpy who are required to carry the weight, emotional and otherwise of the film—allow the ideas and dialogue to take center stage.
Written by Linklater, Delpy and Hawke it delves into all manner of relationships. A dinner guest (Xenia Kalogeropoulou) movingly describes how she attempts to keep her late husband’s memory alive. A young couple (Ariane Labed and Yiannis Papadopoulos) discuss the future and an old married couple (Athina Rachel Tsangari and Panos Koronis) playfully spar.
The heart of the film, however, is the long conversations between Hawke and Delpy. They discover that fissures develop no matter how deep or solid the connection between two people.
“Before Midnight” is beautifully real stuff that fully explores the doubts and regrets that characterize Jesse and Celine’s love affair. Done with humor, heart and pathos, often in the same scene, it is a poignant farewell to two characters who grew up in front of us.