Instant Gratification: “Boyhood” and four other good movies new to Amazon Prime and Netflix

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Boyhood” (Netflix) — My full review is here. Richard Linklater’s wonderful cinematic experiment was shot over a 12-year period, charting a boy’s growth into adulthood and his parents’ growth from crazy kids in love to sadder, wiser middle-aged adults. Linklater uses time as his canvas, focusing on the little moments between the so-called big ones, to show how we change over the years without even realizing it’s happening to us.

The Lobster” (Amazon Prime) — My full review is here. Greek writer-director Yorges Lathimos’ first English-language film has a premise that might seem like an SNL skit, in which single people are forced by a dystopian society to gather at a hotel for bizarre speed-dating rituals, and if they don’t find a soulmate, they get turned into an animal. But the film is both ridiculous and deadly serious in using its surreal premise to examine modern love, and what people will give up of themselves to get it.

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Every seven years, this New York Times article on “Boyhood” and the “Up” movies will still be dumb

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I love “Boyhood.” I love Michael Apted’s “Up” documentary series. I fervently wish we lived in a world where it was okay to like both.

Oh, right. We already do.

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The five movies you need to see in Madison: Aug. 8-14, 2014

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Boyhood” (all week, Sundance) — My full review is here. The long-awaited new film from Richard Linklater is finally here, and its a masterpiece of everyday life, following a boy as he grows from 6 to 18, Linklater and his actors filming a few scenes each year. As we see Mason and his parents (Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette) grow older, becoming the sum of their choices, Linklater strings ordinary events together like Christmas lights to make an entrancing portrait of an extraordinary, average life. See it this weekend, or wait until Tuesday when the Mad Film Forum will host a special meetup for the 8 p.m. show, preceded by drinks and music from DJ The Real Jaguar up on the Rooftop at 6 p.m.

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“Boyhood”: A movie that took 12 years to make, and worth every second

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“Boyhood” opens Friday at Sundance Cinemas. R, 2:45, four stars out of four. Mad Film Forum will host a “Madfilm Meetup” at Sundance at 8 p.m., Tuesday, with a pre-party featuring cocktails and music at 6 p.m. at the theater’s Rooftop Bar.

You could rate Richard Linklater’s new film “Boyhood” strictly on degree of difficulty, like an Olympic dive. Linklater has been making “Boyhood” since 2001, visiting the same group of actors each summer, adding more scenes as they grew older.  Ellar Coltrane was six when he was hired to play young Mason  , Lorelei Linklater (Richard’s daughter) was eight. The film is built around Ellar, and Linklater had no way of knowing what kind of actor he’d grow up to be. Embarking on such a project was a tremendous leap of faith for all parties.

Or you can just look at the finished movie. By that standard, “Boyhood” is one of the best of the year, a funny, moving and realistic look at growing up, looking backwards and looking forward. It’s like a naturalistic, conversation-heavy response to Terence Malick’s ethereal “Tree of Life,” which also dealt with epic themes of childhood and parenthood in Texas.

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Sundance Film Festival: “Boyhood” took 12 years to make, and is worth every second

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You could rate Richard Linklater’s new film “Boyhood” strictly on degree of difficulty, like it was an Olympic diver. Linklater has been making “Boyhood” since 1991, visiting the same group of actors each summer, adding more scenes as they grew older.

Ellar Coltrane was six when he was hired, Lorelei Linklater (Richard’s daughter) was eight. The film is built around Ellar, and Linklater had no way of knowing what kind of actor he’d grow up to be. Embarking on such a project was a tremendous leap of faith for all parties.

Continue reading