Friday, February 20, 2015

Austin’s Homegrown Sound

"Like a playlist that charts the musical arc of a certain time and place," writes arts critic Jeanne Claire van Ryzin of the Austin American-Statesman, “Homegrown provides the visual soundtrack to an Austin as it emerged into a progressive music town." Well, now 
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there's an actual soundtrack to accompany the book and exhibitionHomegrown: Austin Music Posters 1967 to 1982. Our Spotify playlist is like a crash course in the diverse music scenes of Austin's heyday.

When most people think about the Austin music scene of the late 1960s and 70s, they think of psychedelia, classic rock, or progressive country, but the music posters covered in Homegrown include lesser-known Austin scenes like blues and punk. So, yes, of course Willie Nelson, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Doug Sahm are on our playlist, but so are acts like Big Joe Williams, Walter Page, and Clifton Chenier.

Follow this playlist on Spotify for an indispensable aural history of Austin from the late 1960s up until the 1980s. As we all know, the music of the eighties is an entirely different story.

"Starvation"Golden Dawn: This cult-status psychedelia band from Austin still plays Psych Fest.

"Rainy Sunday Morning"
—The Thingies: An obscure band that was only in Austin for about five months before their manager got in trouble with the IRS.

"Mojo Hand"—Lightnin' Hopkins: This Texas bluesman recorded more albums than any other blues musician. Read all about his life and music in the award-winning book Mojo Hand by Timothy J. O'Brien and David Ensminger.

"You're Gonna Miss Me"
—The 13th Floor Elevators: Often credited as one of the first psychedelic bands in the history of rock n' roll (according to Wikipedia), this seminal band featured guitarist and vocalist Roky Erickson and influenced acts from ZZ Top to Primal Scream. This song leads the High Fidelity soundtrack. They're playing their 50th year reunion on May 10! Visit for more information.

"Homesick Armadillo Blues"—Shiva's Headband: House band of the Vulcan Gas Company of the 1960s and part founders of the Armadillo World Headquarters, these guys still perform in Austin and were crucial to Austin's legendary music scene.

"CIA Man"—The Fugs: The Fugs protested war through satirical songs and staged "The Real Woodstock Festival" to fight against the commercialization of Woodstock '94. This song is featured in the Coen brother's movie Burn After Reading.

"Sunday Morning"—The Velvet Underground: Andy Warhol challenged Lou Reed to write a song about paranoia and this is Reed's answer to Warhol's challenge. It's a pretty fitting subject for the heady Sixties.

"Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo"—Johnny Winter: This earlier version was later recorded by Rick Derringer and hit #23 on the Billboard Hot 100. Johnny Winter originally thought this song was a little corny, but Winter's version is certainly bluesier than Derringer's.

"Man Mistreater"—Big Joe Williams: This Mississippi-born bluesman played "an electric nine-string guitar through a small ramshackle amp with a pie plate nailed to it and a beer can dangling against that," wrote blues historian Barry Lee Pearson.

"Going Down"—Freddie King: Constantly touring for three hundred days out of the year, Freddie King became one of the Three Kings of blues. Ann Richards proclaimed September 3rd Freddie King Day.

"Diggin' My Potatoes"—Brownie McGhee, Sonny Terry: Collaborators in blues, Brownie brought the guitar and the voice and Sonny brought a masterful harmonica. Farm injuries blinded Sonny by age 16 and Brownie had polio but was eventually able to walk thanks to the March of Dimes. 

"If You're Going To The City"—Mose Allison: A jazz singer and pianist with a B.A. in English (minor in philosophy), Mose was a voracious reader and intensely political. He has been covered by The Who, The Clash, The Yardbirds, Van Morrison, and Elvis Costello. The song "Allison" from The Pixies album Bossanova is about Allison.

"Swinging The Blues: Topsy"—Walter Page, Buck Clayton: Walter was taught by a retired Cuban military bandleader and called him a "chubby little cat, bald, one of the old military men." Not only was Buck Clayton was a leading member of Count Basie’s "Old Testament" orchestra, he also contributed to musical history in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

"Fixin To Die"—Bukka White: 'Bukka' being the phonetic spelling of his first name, Booker died in Memphis coming from somewhere between Aberdeen and Houston, Mississippi. Best known for playing steel and slide guitars, his sound inspired Bob Dylan and Led Zeppelin.

"I'm A Man"—Bo Diddley: Essential to a rhythm and blues education, we'll just say he is listed as being an inspiration to Elvis Presley and The Beatles and leave it at that.

"Let The Good Times Roll"—B.B. King, Bobby "Blue" Bland: You should know that B.B. King is one of the greatest guitarists of all time and also has a fine establishment on Beale Street. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame said of Bobby "Blue" Bland, "[he's] second in stature only to B.B. King as a product of Memphis's Beale Street blues scene." You won't be skippin' this one.

"Got My Mojo Working"—Muddy Waters: One of the greatest blues songs ever recorded played live like it's supposed to be. Known by music scholars as the 'missing link' between Delta Blues and Rock 'n Roll, you'd best listen to more if you haven't already.

"Ain't That A Shame?"—Fats Domino: New Orleans to the core, he probably knew that recording a Nashville sound would end his chart domination. In the 1980s, Fats decided to never leave New Orleans. He was rescued by members of the National Guard from the Katrina floodwaters after CNN had reported him dead. After losing everything, he had to stay in Baton Rouge for three days before slowly making his way back to the Big Easy where he is today.

"I'm Coming Home (To See My Mother)"—Clifton Chenier: Clifton spoke French, played the accordion, and won a Grammy, so it makes sense he'd be called the 'King of Zydeco.' He reached a national audience by appearing on Austin City Limits in 1976.

"Texas Flood"—Stevie Ray Vaughan: Austinites will (or should) know Stevie's story since this inductee to the Blues Hall of Fame and the Musicians Hall of Fame made a living playing gigs at the then newly-opened Antone's, helping make it Austin's home of the blues. Stevie will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year. An incredibly talented product of Dallas, alcohol, abuse, and the 1980s, Vaughan tragically died in a helicopter accident at the age of 35.

"C-Boy's Blues"—The Fabulous Thunderbirds: The first band to be broadcast on the internet using high-definition cameras!

"Whiskey River"—Willie Nelson: Synonymous with Austin to many, Willie moved here in 1972 to retire. It didn't last. He is an indelible part of Texas history; so much so that the Dolph Briscoe Center holds his personal collection. Willie's exploits are legendary and some of them are well-documented!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Book that Outraged a Nation

There's a new book blog that we're thrilled to have our authors contributing to: Books Combined. Started by Combined Academic Publishers, the goal of the blog is to facilitate a conversation among scholars about the importance of books. From
This blog isn’t about selling books – it’s about understanding the power of books. 
Better than anyone, we think scholars understand books’ potential, and how books, as repositories for ideas, can change us, and our perspective on the world. In we’re asking scholars to write about the books that have had a significant impact on their lives – the good, the bad, and the ugly.
In their latest post, our author Lance deHaven Smith (Conspiracy Theory in America, 2013) has written about the biggest influences of his career: a shocking story his grandfather told him as a child, and a pioneering American conspiracy scholar, Charles Beard, who confirmed the controversial conspiracy theory behind America's entry into World War II.

Bullet holes remaining from the 1941 attack at Pearl Harbor.
Photo taken by Howard Gribble

The Book that Outraged a Nation
By Lance deHaven-Smith
Originally posted on

I began to study conspiracy theories after learning that many of them have turned out to be true. One of the most shocking is that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt knew when and where Japan was going to strike in the Pacific but intentionally failed to warn U.S. military commanders at Pearl Harbor.

In letting Japan surprise U.S. forces, Roosevelt’s motive was to bring the United States into World War II and foment social panic and outrage to fuel support for the war effort.

My grandfather told me about this when I was five years old. He had been wounded in World War II at Anzio during the U.S. invasion of Italy. He thought America’s top leaders cared little about the nation’s ordinary soldiers. In high school, I learned by happenstance that my grandfather’s story was not mere speculation. I came across a book by Charles Beard that explained and documented Roosevelt’s intrigue and deceit.

Beard was an intellectual giant in the academic disciplines of both history and political science. He is the only person ever elected president of both the American Historical Society and the American Political Science Association. Throughout his academic career, he used a method he referred to as “critical historiography” to uncover a number of antidemocratic intrigues by political insiders.

Beard put forward three major theories alleging elite intrigue to rig U.S. politics and political institutions. First in 1913 he became famous among academics, and infamous among political and economic elites, with the publication of An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States. In it, he traced key features of the U.S. Constitution to the founding fathers’ economic backgrounds and personal financial interests.

Second, in 1927 Beard and his wife Mary included in their two volume work on The Rise of American Civilization a theory of how political insiders had rigged the language of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to benefit corporations. Within the academy, the theory came to be called the “conspiracy theory of the Fourteenth Amendment.” The Beards claimed that railroad interests manipulated the amendment’s drafting to open the way for the courts to say it granted the rights of individuals to corporations.

President Roosevelt and the 
Coming of the War, 1941
Third, Beard presented his account of the defense failures at Pearl Harbor in the last book he wrote before his death in 1948. The book was President Roosevelt and the Coming of the War, 1941: Appearances and Realities. It says President Roosevelt withheld intelligence about the impending attack from U.S. commanders in the Pacific until it was too late for them to act, and then set an investigation in motion that blamed the commanders for being unprepared while it absolved the president and other officials in Washington of any responsibility.

Beard was fully aware that his conspiracy theories were often criticized, in his view incorrectly, for appealing to mass suspicions rather than reason and evidence. He called his own research critical historiography because it started, not from popular speculations, but from the government’s official account of events, drawing on official records to check the official account’s validity.

Beard believed that presidential actions leading to America’s entry into World War II jeopardized the constitutional separation of powers and brought the United States close to Caesarism. Unless Roosevelt and his administration were held accountable for their abuses of power and manipulation of democratic processes, Beard concluded, the precedents set by Roosevelt would allow future presidents to completely ignore their moral and constitutional obligations to keep Congress well informed and to defer to Congress’ role in deciding whether to take the nation to war.

Beard’s fears were well founded. The U.S. Congress has not passed a declaration of war since World War II, even though the United States has fought major wars in Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq.

Ironically, Beard’s book on America’s entry into World War II was so shocking that scholars developed powerful norms against conspiracy theorizing in general, norms which remain active even now. In the process, the straightforward idea that U.S. political elites might engage in antidemocratic conspiracies, an idea central to the constitutional system of checks and balances, came to be viewed and treated by the political class as a slur against the nation’s leaders and political institutions.

Beard himself was more or less airbrushed out of the history of U.S. social sciences. Today, Beard is vaguely remembered by scholars for his economic interpretation of the Constitution, but his conspiracy theory of Pearl Harbor defense failures is largely forgotten.

After discovering in high school that my grandfather’s story was true, I began to take rumors and theories of political intrigue more seriously, and many were later confirmed. The Watergate hearings in Congress proved that the 1972 presidential election had been stolen by supporters of Richard Nixon. The hearings spearheaded by Frank Church revealed America’s role in many assassinations in other countries. The Iran-Contra hearings exposed the Reagan Administration’s secret war in Nicaragua. The Downing Street Memos showed that President George W. Bush intentionally misled Congress and the American public about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

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Eventually I began to study elite political criminality as a distinct crime category like white collar crime, juvenile crime, and so on. All because of a story I heard as a child!

Dr. Lance deHaven-Smith is a Professor in the Reubin O’D. Askew School of Public Administration and Policy at Florida State University. His most recent book is Conspiracy Theory in America (University of Texas Press, 2013).

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Monday, February 2, 2015

Spring 2015 Preview

This spring and summer, UT Press will publish significant works in photographyfilm and media studies, architecture, Latin American StudiesMiddle Eastern Studies, and Latina/o Studiesincluding a compelling chronicle of the dangers, fears, shared histories and aspirations that bind Mexicans and Americans despite the U.S./Mexico border walls.
Below is a preview of our spring books, with videos and interior images. Browse our full catalog here or below:

By Seamus McGraw

"This title deserves a wide and varied readership; it has the power to change minds.”

Booklist starred review

“Seamus McGraw takes on an immense and cacophonous subject—climate change—and does so in a way that avoids the usual polarities of denial versus panic. He does an excellent job of seeking out interested American parties who don’t typically have a voice in the debate and makes a case that leadership on the issue probably won’t come from the conventional class of ‘leaders’ (namely, Congress). . . . His pragmatism and his refusal to live in a world of ideals make this a worthy project. . . . It deserves an audience of good readers.”

—Tom Zoellner, author of Train: Riding the Rails that Created the Modern World and The Heartless Stone: A Journey Through the World of Diamonds, Deceit, and Desire
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Music ]
By Eddie Huffman

“Prine’s stuff is pure Proustian existentialism. Midwestern mindtrips to the nth degree. And he writes beautiful songs.”
—Bob Dylan, Huffington Post

“The unlikely success of the reluctant performer makes for fascinating reading.”
Kirkus Reviews

History ]
By Richard Paul and Steven Moss

"This account of 10 pioneers, told against the backdrop of the civil rights era, highlights the intersection of technology and race in U.S. history, continuing innovations in technology, and the struggle of minorities to participate.”

Booklist starred review

“This is a wonderfully surprising book that explores the impact and the struggles of African Americans involved in NASA and the early days of the space program, a story that is little known but is well told by Richard Paul and Steven Moss. This is not just the history of a few pioneering individuals; rather this work provides insight into the struggle to obtain civil rights by contextualizing how the integration of the space program was shaped and how it helped to shape the movement for racial justice in the 1960s. This work broadens our understanding of this period of turmoil and change.”

—Lonnie Bunch, Founding Director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture

Steven Moss on CSPAN2 BookTV

Eli Reed: A Long Walk Home
Photographs by Eli Reed with an introduction by Paul Theroux

With over 250 images that span the astonishing range of his subjects and his evolution as a photographer, this is the first career retrospective of Eli Reed, one of America’s leading contemporary photojournalists and the first African American member of Magnum Photos.

"Everything about Eli Reed’s work is unlikely, surprising, original, strong, and humane—like the man himself…"

Paul Theroux

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By George Brainard

“Why, this splendid [book] may be just the ticket to tempt you into putting on your fave-rave garb of the hour and tiptoeing into a land of plenty: plenty of action and plenty of traction, on and off the blacktop. Hold on tight! It’s a quick-paced view of what’s tried and true. Now with that in hand, strike up the band!

Step on it!”

—Billy F. Gibbons of ZZ Top, from the foreword

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It Starts with Trouble: William Goyen and the Life of Writing
By Clark Davis

“the most mysterious of writers…a seer; a troubled visionary; a spiritual presence in a national literature largely deprived of the spiritual.” 

Joyce Carol Oates

“William Goyen was one of the great, great writers of the twentieth century, and Clark Davis’ terrific book is an incisive study of the relationship between an author’s life and work. It’s stuffed not with psychobabble, the way so many such studies are, but with careful examples of how this underappreciated master transformed his central concerns into complex, compelling, and beautiful novels, stories, and essays. ‘It starts with trouble,’ Goyen said of the origins of his work. Davis is to be applauded for this fine elucidation of how trouble, Texas, landscape, love, and the longing for the divine led to the creation of some of the richest prose ever written in America. This book is a gem.”

—Rebecca Brown, author of American Romances and The Gifts of the Body

By Dan Rizzie

Showcasing an artistic career that has been both broad-ranging and consistent over four decades, Dan Rizzie is the first monograph on this internationally acclaimed American artist who has created a unique iconography of the natural world in paintings, collages, and prints.

Click the interior images below to enlarge.

Left to right: Blackberry Thieves III (Blue) (2009), Piccolo Fiore (1993/2007), Mondrian's Chair (2010). All by Dan Rizzie.

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Homegrown: Austin Music Posters 1967 to 1982
By Alan Schaefer

From mind-melting psychedelia and surreal treatments of Texas iconography to inventive interpretations of rock and roll, western swing, and punk, this book offers the definitive, long-overdue survey of music poster art by legendary Texas artists.

Click the interior images below to enlarge.

Left to right: Jim Franklin. Mother Earth & Shiva's Headband. Vulcan Gas Company. August 15 & 16, 1969, Jim Franklin. The Velvet Underground, Ramon Ramon and the Four Daddyos, Crowbar, & Water Brothers. Vulcan Gas Company. October 23-25, 1969, Jim Franklin. Willie Nelson's 4th of July Picnic. Dripping Springs. July 4, 1973.

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"Riveting. With spectacular imagery, intimacy, and credibility, Thompson dismantles the stereotypes. Border Odyssey is destined to become an international classic in border/frontera literature because it reveals person-by-person, town-by-town the anti-human rights juggernaut as a human-invented catastrophe that we do have the power to clean up.”

—Paul Ortiz, author of Emancipation Betrayed

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Beyond the Forest Q&A with Loli Kantor

To mark the start of Hanukkah, we asked photographer Loli Kantor to answer some questions about her new book, Beyond the Forest: Jewish Presence in Eastern Europe, 2004–2012. Kantor is the daughter of Polish Jews who met and married in Munich after the war. Born in France and raised in Israel, she has spent the last thirty years living stateside in Fort Worth, Texas. In the early 2000s, she was compelled to set out in search of her roots. In the book's introduction, Anda Rottenberg sets up the devastating details that spurred Kantor's travels in Eastern Europe over an eight-year period:
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"The face of her mother, who died in childbirth, is something familiar only from photographs. Of her father, she knows his place of birth and his short, professional CV, most likely written for the U.S. State Department and thus omitting the details of his war experiences....she knew little of the historical landscape from which her parents emerged, the territory of Central-Eastern Europe—stretching from the western borders of prewar Poland to the line connecting Leningrad, Smolensk, and Kursk in the east, Tallinn in the north, and Crimea in the south—and aptly described by Timothy Snyder as the 'bloodlands.' From 1933 to 1945 this region witnessed the deaths of 14 million innocent people, including women, children, and the elderly. Up until 1948 it also experienced mass forced displacement of whole populations (Jews, Roma, Poles, Germans, and Rusyns), as well as the “voluntary” exile of those who hoped to save their lives or improve their fate."
Kantor's photo-essay is a very moving account of her personal journey to reconcile incredible loss with hope, faith, and community. Given recent events in the area, we took the opportunity to ask her about what Jewish communities now under Russian rule  in the Crimea region are coping.

We wish you and yours a Happy Hanukkah. Chag Chanukah sameach!

Q: The plates in the book progress from stark black-and-white images to colorful, people and food–filled scenes, almost winter to spring. How does that evoke what you experienced in your travels and time spent in these communities?

The transition from black-and-white to color, from stark to bright does reflect my disposition at the beginning of the project. I made my first trip in November 2005, purposefully to have this stark, cold, and snowy atmosphere in the works, using black-and-white film. This was partly intentional and was also my state of mind about the place of Jewish presence and absence in Eastern Europe.

Block 11 | Auschwitz, 2005 | Poland
I also happened to be a black-and-white photographer at this stage and this was my natural choice for film. As time went on, and as I returned to some of the same places, I realized that this subject needed to be approached from a place of observing the presence of Jewish life. I began using color in a digital format in addition to black-and-white film. There is also a practicality component; I needed a backup to the film in case something happened to it in transit as I traveled in all sorts of ways and carried at least 100-plus rolls of film with me on these trips.

As time went on, I knew that using black-and-white film to photograph Jewish subject matter is already a statement pointing more towards the destruction, giving the viewer a premonition of absence and loss. Instead, I wanted to show the normalcy, what was “ Jewish” and just a “scene”; I wanted to depict a reemergence of Jewish life. This is how the book progresses to a more universal and realistic point of view to include the people, their places, and their things – in highly saturated colors.

Hanukkah Luncheon | Mukachevo, 2009 | Ukraine
Passover luncheon | Boryslav, 2008 | Ukraine
Q: Your story is a courageous example of how to sort through tragedy, grief and feeling unmoored from your origins. What are your thoughts on how faith and cultural arts can both heal personal wounds and sustain a community?

I believe that art and culture are the most important components in keeping a nation and a people alive. This is what I found so compelling in my work in Eastern Europe. To some people, faith corresponds with religion and a God. For others, it represents conviction and hope. I connect strongly with my past and my personal history through my Jewish cultural roots, reflected through music, literature, and visual and performing arts, as well as food… all of which are manifested in my photography. This is what helps keep me going in dealing with extensive loss in my personal life and in dealing with the Holocaust that touched my family so closely.

My Parents, Zvi and Lola Kantor. Munich, Germany, 1946
Q: What do you think are the challenges and tensions felt by Jews in Ukraine given Russia’s aggression in the region?

My understanding is that the Jews of Ukraine in the Crimea region have been facing uncertainty and fear with the war threatening their lives. Many of them fled to western Ukraine, to Kyiv and Khariv, or to Israel.

Dr. Alexander Elkin, a board member of the Jewish Community Center in Kharkiv, gave me some insight into the situation. Elkin tells me that the younger generation of Jews in Ukraine feels a strong national connection to being Ukrainian. They are integrated into the society and, depending on the area in conflict, the situation varies. From the new Lugansk Donetsk independent region in the east (Noworussia), they are moving to Kharkiv and Kyiv, and there is a large number of Jews immigrating to Israel. “The lines of Jews waiting for visas to immigrate to Israel are very long these days,” says Elkin. Many Jews are in the camp of the Ukrainian nationalists regarding the events that took place in Maydan Square in Kyiv last November. Many are now taking part in the initiatives to implement reforms. Seventy percent of the Jews in Donetsk fled to Israel or to Kiev and Kharkiv. Many elderly displaced Jews are still there, either because they cannot leave due to ailments, are reluctant to make the change, or are being cared for by the welfare organization Hesed, still operating in the area. On a political level they are comparing their situation to that of Israel; like Israelis, they are living in a war zone but are still hopeful.

Bronitsia Forest | Ukraine | 2005

Thursday, December 11, 2014

5 Things You Need to Know about "Boyhood"

**Update: Congratulations to the entire Boyhood team for the three Golden Globe wins! **

To celebrate Boyhood's five Golden Globe nominations, here are five very important things that you need to know about Richard Linklater's Boyhood. Congratulations to Rick Linklater (nominated for Best Director, Best Screenplay), Patricia Arquette (nominated for Best Supporting Actress), Ethan Hawke (nominated for Best Supporting Actor), and to the entire cast and crew for the Best Motion Picture, Drama nomination. We'll be watching on January 11!

The Beatles' The Black Album is real. Late in the film, Ethan Hawke’s father character presents Mason (Ellar Coltrane) with “a family heirloom that money couldn’t buy,” The Beatles’ The Black Album. A three-volume mega mix-tape that collects the best of McCartney, Lennon, Harrison, and Starr from their solo careers. Ethan Hawke and Richard Linklater collaborated on making the track list of The Black Album a reality. Here’s a sample of the first few songs:

     Disc 1: 
1. Paul McCartney & Wings, “Band on the Run” 

2. George Harrison, “My Sweet Lord” 

3. John Lennon feat. The Flux Fiddlers & the Plastic Ono Band, “Jealous Guy” 

4. Ringo Starr, “Photograph”

For the complete list check out Indiewire’s full write up on The Black Album: The Post-Beatles Black Album From Richard Linklater's Boyhood. Follow us on Spotify for our 3-part playlist! 

There's more to the haircut scene than you might think. In preparation for a scene midway through the movie, Richard Linklater asked Ellar Coltrane to refrain from cutting his hair for a year. In a pivotal moment for the development of the stepfather character he forces Mason into the barber’s seat to have his hair completely buzzed off. As viewers, we see a powerful and convincing amalgamation of anger, vulnerability, and sadness overtake Mason as the barber gets to work. However, Ellar Coltrane was actually thrilled to finally be getting a haircut. How about that for some strong acting? Patricia Arquette on this moment: 

Boyhood challenges its audience to be aware of the narrative expectations that years of movie watching has conditioned in us. A thread of tension between portraying the reality of everyday life and our expectation for cinematic drama runs throughout the film; when a drunk father/stepfather gets behind the wheel with a car full of kids we expect the scene to end in a violent accident, or when teenage boys are playing with saw blades at a construction site we expect, at the very least, stiches in their future. These perilous climaxes never come and their absence in the film isn’t something the film’s director Richard Linklater thought twice about. When asked about this topic he said, “You get through childhood and most of the time it [the perilous climax] doesn’t happen.”

For more from Linklater on this tension and other interesting commentary on the film, read this great interview from The Dissolve: Richard Linklater discusses the 12-year journey to Boyhood

Richard Linklater wrote twelve different scripts for what he considers as the twelve seperate movies that make up Boyhood and he’s stated that over time the characters took on personalities tied more closely to the actors who portray them in the film.

The photographer hired to capture behind-the-scenes stills of the movie is responsible for all of the portraits and progression spreads (like the one below) used to promote the movie, but he wasn’t hired to do them. After being hired to shoot behind-the-scenes stills, Matt Lankes asked if he could setup an area to take portraits of the actors each year. The producer, director, and lead actors all liked the idea and he went ahead with it. A few years into filming, Ethan Hawke suggested Lankes collect the photos in book form when the project was finished, something Lankes had been considering himself. That collection, Boyhood: Twelve Years on Film, published by UT Press, is out now. You can find more information on it here: Boyhood: Twelve Years on Film

Photographs by Matt Lankes, Boyhood: Twelve Years on Film

For more from Matt Lankes about his experiences chronicling Boyhood, listen to Emily Donahue’s thoughtful interview with him:  Like the Movie, This Boyhood Book was 12 Years in the Making