's never been afraid to push boundaries in the way he structures his films. Could anything be bolder than jumping decades between each film in the Before...(Sunrise, Sunset, Before Midnight) series? Linklater's certainly not afraid of losing his audience's attention in the years he leaves between movies, either on or off-screen.
Which brings us to his most ambitious project to date.
Linklater has been working on the film Boyhood for over a decade now. Boyhood centers on and who play parents raising a boy (). The film spans the life of the boy from the age of six through to the twelfth grade.
So why has it taken so long to make? Linklater has been shooting parts of the movie every year since 2002, which means he's captured the process of Ellar Salmon ageing from being a seven year old to being on the cusp of his twenties with a realism that may never have been achieved before.
Ethan Hawke recently took part in a Reddit AMA and offered his thoughts on the project:
First up, I guess I should tell people what BOYHOOD is. It's a project also known as THE TWELVE YEAR PROJECT; Richard Linklater and I have made a short film every year for the last 11 years, one more to go, that follows the development of a young boy from age 6 to 18. I play the father, and it's Tolstoy-esque in scope. I thought the BEFORE series was the most unique thing I would ever be a part of, but Rick has engaged me in something even more strange. Doing a scene with a young boy at the age of 7 when he talks about why do raccoons die, and at the age of 12 when he talks about video games, and 17 when he asks me about girls, and have it be the same actor - to watch his voice and body morph - it's a little bit like timelapse photography of a human being. I can't wait for people to see it.
Next year, he will graduate high school and we will finish the film. It will probably come out in 2 years.
The project sounds completely fascinating. I guess the 'short film every year' comment implies Boyhood will be structured almost like a novel, in chapters. It certainly seems hard to imagine how else Linklater would be able to pull together such an enormous amount of very diverse footage.
Speaking of which, it sounds like the film will be mammoth in terms of running time. Linklater has speculated previously that the film will be 'two and a half hours long, minimum' - phew!
Does this sound like the sort of thing you'd look forward to watching? Or too experimental to actually be enjoyable? Let me know in the comments.