Brow Beat

Richard Linklater on Boyhood, the Before Movies, and Cinematic Storytelling

In her review of Boyhood, Slate film critic Dana Stevens calls the movie a “gradually unfolding miracle.” Director Richard Linklater shot the movie a few days each year for 12 years, thus telling the fictional (and semi-autobiographical) story of one boy growing up. The movie opened in New York and Los Angeles last weekend and will expand nationwide over the next few weeks.

I sat down with Linklater last week to ask him not only about Boyhood, but also about his Before series, his film Waking Life, and the way he writes and shoots the many conversations in his movies. Along the way he explained why the dialogue in his films is not improvised, why the advent of sound may have set filmmaking back a few decades, and what’s unique about cinematic storytelling.