When you say the name Richard Linklater you will get two different responses, one from the film lover, and the other from your average moviegoer. While the film lover will start rattling off his or her favorite Linklater films, more than likely you will have a blank stare with that average moviegoer, that is until you start naming movies that he has done, that’s when the response becomes “That guy did all of those movies?”
When “Slacker” came out in 1991, it changed independent filmmaking and gave many filmmakers the inspiration to go out and make their own films. Filmmakers like Kevin Smith, The Duplass Brothers, and Jason Reitman are among the many. With “Slacker” he showed you could do anything, you just had to go and do it. If that film wasn’t enough, in 1993 he followed it up with “Dazed and Confused” the perfect movie about growing up in the seventies in Central Texas, and a movie that became the introduction to so many future movie stars. In 1995 he would begin his “Before” series with “Before Sunrise”, a story about meeting someone and falling in love. He followed up “Sunrise” nine years later with “Before Sunset” and capped it off if 2013 with “Before Midnight”, that is eighteen years with the same couple, as their life and love changes. You throw in films like “Bernie”, “A Scanner Darkly”, “Bad News Bears”, “School of Rock” and the underrated “Waking Life” and you can see there is nothing Linklater can’t do as a filmmaker.
“21 Years: Richard Linklater” is kind of a love fest for the man who brought all these great movies to life, but as a film lover it is hard not to love the man along with the art he has created. Directors Michael Dunaway and Tara Wood, feel the same way, and have crafted this film as a thank you for all that he has done for the world of film. It is easy to just say he is a great filmmaker, but for the state on Texas and for the city of Austin he is everything when it comes to the film community. Richard Linklater is an artist, all you have to do is look at the body of his work, from “Slacker” to the “Before” series, and his twelve year in the making masterpiece “Boyhood” to see that he has always been the real deal. Everyone may not know the name Richard Linkater, but I know everyone has a favorite Linkater film.