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Richard Linklater

Film Director, Screenwriter, Film Producer, Actor, Television Producer, Television Director, Cinemat
© K.E.B.
Wikimedia / CC BY 2.0 ]
Richard Stuart Linklater (born July 30, 1960) is an American film director and screenwriter. He is known for films such as Slacker, Dazed and Confused, Waking Life, A Scanner Darkly, School of Rock, and Before Sunrise and its sequels. --- Linklater was born in Houston, Texas. He attended Huntsville High School and studied at Sam Houston State University, leaving midway through his stint in college to work on an off-shore oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico. While working on the rig he read a lot of literature, but on land he developed a love of film through repeated visits to a repertory theater in Houston. It was at this point that Linklater realized he wanted to be a filmmaker. After his job on the oil rig, Linklater used the money he had saved to buy a Super-8 camera, a projector, and some editing equipment, and moved to Austin. It was there that the aspiring cineaste founded the Austin Film Society and grew to appreciate such auteurs as Robert Bresson, Yasujiro Ozu, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Josef Von Sternberg, and Carl Theodor Dreyer. He enrolled in Austin Community  College in the fall of 1984 to study film. For several years, Linklater made many short films that were, more than anything, exercises and experiments in film techniques. He finally completed his first feature, the rarely seen It's Impossible to Learn to Plow by Reading Books (which is now available in the Criterion Collection edition of Slacker), a Super-8 feature that took a year to shoot and another year to edit. The film is significant in the sense that it establishes most of Linklater's preoccupations. The film has his trademark style of minimal camera movements and lack of narrative, while it examines the theme of traveling with no real particular direction in mind. These idiosyncrasies would be explored in greater detail in future projects. --- To this end Linklater created Detour Film production (an homage to the 1945 low budget film noir by Edgar G. Ulmer), and subsequently made Slacker for only $23,000. It went on to gross more than $1.25 million. The film is an aimless day in the life of the city of Austin, Texas showcasing its more eccentric characters. While gaining a cult following in the independent film world, he made his second film, Dazed and Confused, based on his years at Huntsville High School and the people he encountered there. The film garnered critical praise and grossed $8 million in the United States while becoming a hit on VHS. This film was also responsible for the breakout of fellow Austin, Texas native Matthew McConaughey. In 1995, Linklater won the Silver Bear for Best Director for the film Before Sunrise at the 45th Berlin International Film Festival. His next feature, subUrbia, had mixed reviews critically, and did very poorly at the box office. In 1998, he took on his first Hollywood feature, The Newton Boys, which received mixed reviews while tanking at the box office. --- With the rotoscope films Waking Life, and A Scanner Darkly, his mainstream comedies, School of Rock and the remake of Bad News Bears, have gained him wider recognition. In 2003, he wrote and directed a pilot for HBO with Rodney Rothman called $5.15/hr, about several minimum wage restaurant workers. The pilot deals with themes later examined in Fast Food Nation. In 2004, the British television network Channel 4 produced a major documentary about Linklater, in which the filmmaker frankly discussed the personal and philosophical ideas behind his films. "St Richard of Austin" was presented by Ben Lewis and directed by Irshad Ashraf and broadcast on Channel 4 in December 2004 in the UK. In 2005, Linklater was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for his film Before Sunset. Many of Linklater's films take place in one day, a narrative approach that has gained popularity in recent years. Slacker, Dazed and Confused, Tape, Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, and Before Midnight are examples of this method. Two of his recent films, (A Scanner Darkly and Waking Life), used rotoscoping animation techniques. Working with Bob Sabiston and Sabiston's program Rotoshop to create this effect, Linklater shot and edited both movies completely as live action features, then employed a team of artists to "trace over" individual frames. The result is a distinctive "semi-real" quality, praised by such critics as Roger Ebert (in the case of Waking Life) as being original and well-suited to the aims of the film. Fast Food Nation (2006) is an adaptation of the best selling book that examines the local and global influence of the United States fast food industry. The film was entered into the 2006 Cannes Film Festival before being released in North America on November 17, 2006 and in Europe on March 23, 2007. After releasing both Fast Food Nation and A Scanner Darkly to mixed reviews, Linklater returned to form as a critical darling with 2009's Me and Orson Welles garnering an 85% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and 2012's Bernie receiving a 91% rating. Despite the popularity of many of his films and having directed multiple high-paying Hollywood productions, Linklater remains in Austin, Texas and refuses to live or work in Hollywood for any extended period of time. --- Film scholars and commentators consider Richard Linklater's films to be significant in a number of ways. In the early 1990s,Slacker was hailed as something of a manifesto for Generation X because the film's young adult characters are more interested in quasi-intellectual pastimes and socializing than career advancement. However, Linklater has long since eschewed the role of generational spokesperson and is ironically a "Baby Boomer" himself. Moreover, the movie actually includes various generations, and many of its themes are universal rather than generation-specific. Those of Linklater's films that have non-formulaic narratives about seemingly random occurrences, often spanning about twenty-four hours, have been hailed as alternatives to contemporary Hollywood market-driven blockbusters. In conjunction with these unorthodox narratives, the emphasis on philosophical talk over physical action in Slacker and Waking Life aligns Linklater's work with art cinema traditions, particularly those of Europe, from which much recent American cinema is estranged. --- Inspiration for Linklater's work was largely based on his experience with the film Raging Bull, Linklater told Robert K. Elderin an interview for The Film That Changed My Life. "It made me see movies as a potential outlet for what I was thinking about and hoping to express. At that point I was an unformed artist. At that moment, something was simmering in me, but Raging Bull brought it to a boil." --- Since his early 20s, Linklater has been a vegetarian.

Wikipedia ]

Born
Richard Stuart Linklater
July 30, 1960 (age 63)
Profession
Film Director, Screenwriter, Film Producer, Actor, Television Producer, Television Director, Cinemat
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