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

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