Every year, there’s a cavalcade of movies that come out, and we pretty much all know what to expect at this point.
Romantic comedies. Dramas. Superheroes. Animation. Porn.
Err, scratch that last one.
It also seems there’s always one filmmaker every year who tries to do something new and innovative. Everyone tries to exceed the bounds of cinema. It’s been happening for decades, but more recently what jumps to mind is James Cameron’s Avatar with his use of 3D, Christopher Nolan’s Inception with his insanely intricate use of plot, and Ang Lee’s Life of Pi with CGI.
But we haven’t seen a filmmaker try something new with film length.
And I don’t mean running time — Peter Jackson has that covered with every Lord of the Rings movie — I mean the actual time it takes to film the movie.
Normally, films are shot in a matter of weeks. Development could take much longer, but the actual filming process is very quick. Anything that takes longer than a couple of months is abnormal.
And anything that takes years … is unheard of.
But Richard Linklater says fu’ that.
The director of Dazed and Confused and the Before Sunrise trilogy has a new movie that’s just come out, and filming took place over the course of 12 years.
That’s a half of of a lifetime … if you’re 24.
That’s almost as many years as “American Idol” has been on the air. That’s almost as many years as it’s taken Ryan Seacrest to realize he’s gay.
I haven’t seen the film yet, so all I know about it is what has been written. It’s about a boy who progresses from childhood to young adulthood from age 5 to age 18. The same boy, Ellar Coltrane, plays the lead character, in each age.
The entire concept is remarkable. It’s also received universal acclaim from critics, with a Rotten Tomatoes approval rating of 99 percent, a perfect 100 score on Metacritic, and an 8.9 rating on IMDB. Other actors in the film are Ethan Hawke, Patricia Arquette and Linklater’s daughter, Lorelei Linklater.
I, for one, can’t wait to see it. I love movies that try to capture the essence of different parts of life — whether it be childhood or adulthood, or somewhere in between, and this one literally does it. By actually filming different parts of somebody’s life and portraying it on screen. Beware though — it’s a long one, at 2 hours and 44 minutes.
It’s inevitable that this will be one of the most talked about movies of the year. You heard it here first.
It also makes me realize that if a director filmed segments of my life over the last 12 years, that would be a pretty boring goddamn movie.