When I was in my early teens, I saw Richard Linklater’s Waking Life. Today, it’s easy to look back and think the movie is more simplistic than it was, but I still have a strong nostalgia. It was a film that spoke about deep issues in an accessible way to teenagers. The same can be said for Skanner Darkly, my still favourite Linklater film. It’s weird and visually interesting, but not purposefully confusing. If I had not enjoyed his films at that impressionable age, I would probably never even try to enjoy films like Upstream Colour. Linklater was my gateway drug to all kinds of non-linear stories and alternative film concepts, and I will always be thankful for that.
Boyhood, I knew, was not going to be another introduction course to alternative film, but according to the hype, it was very unique. Linklater has spent twelve years filming, using the same actors, who therefore age naturally. Ellar Coltrane, playing the 6-19 year old boy called Mason, said in his AMA on Reddit that every year filming was a bit like summer camp. The film also includes Linklater familiar Ethan Hawke as the father, and Patricia Arquette as the mother.