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There's a Documentary About Richard Linklater's Career in the Works

by
May 15, 2014

Richard Linklater

Whoa - where did this come from? A press release has announced that Gravitas Ventures has acquired US release rights to release a documentary about the filmmaking career of Richard Linklater, who just debuted his 12-year project Boyhood at Sundance earlier this year. Titled 21 Years: Richard Linklater, the feature-length doc "examines the first 21 years of Linklater's career and includes intimate interviews with many of the filmmakers' longtime collaborators and animation by Austin-based Powerhouse Animation Studios." His first 21 years of work includes classic films like Slacker, Dazed & Confused, Before Sunrise & Sunset, Waking Life, School of Rock, Bad News Bears, Fast Food Nation and A Scanner Darkly. Read on.

The documentary is made by Paste Magazine's movies editor Michael Dunaway and Tara Wood. Here's the full description of the project direct from the press release, detailing some of the people interviewed:

Drawing on the idea that the first 21 years of work defines the career of an artist, 21 Years: Richard Linklater chronicles the filmmaker from his groundbreaking work on Slacker to his innovative Boyhood, and how his films have unapologetically carved his signature into American pop culture. This compelling documentary takes you on a behind-the-scenes tour into Linklater’s style, skills, and motivation via his friends, his casts and other filmmakers. Candid conversations with Ethan Hawke, Jack Black, Keanu Reeves, Billy Bob Thornton, Matthew McConaughey, Jason Reitman, Julie Delpy and others show that for a guy who became famous for celebrating the cool and casual, Linklater emerges not only as the godfather of the modern American indie film movement, but as a surprisingly strategic and visionary director who has already established a legacy and perfected a style that can’t be denied.

While we hope this shows up at some film festivals first, it sounds like Gravitas is already planning to send it out on VOD. Melanie Miller, Vice President of Acquisitions and Marketing for Gravitas, stated: "In the vein of what we did for Dave Grohl's Sound City, we are planning an innovative release that will see the film reach over a billion homes on opening day, and we hope that paves the way for 21 Years profiles on other icons of American independent cinema." Interesting. So this might be the start of a documentary series on the early years of filmmakers' careers. I like the idea, I'm just curious to see some footage and a trailer next.

Compared to that other A Year in the Life of James Franco doc in the works, I'm much more interested in seeing this. Linklater is one of my favorite directors and he has such a diverse and unique career, bouncing from solid dramas to existential comedies to heartwarming romances, and it will be fascinating to examine his work in much more detail. We'll keep you updated on the release plans for 21 Years: Richard Linklater.

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  • cuckoozey
    21 years?? Man, I'm gettin old...seeing Slacker in the theatre when it first came out seems like yesterday.
  • Marcus
    This man is a film genius. I can't wait to see Boyhood!
  • Xerxexx
    A Scanner Darkly is his most underrated film. Brilliant all around.
    • Michael Dunaway
      I think I probably agree with that ranking. In our film, we get some great stuff from Keanu about Scanner, but it's also great hearing other people talk about the film as well -- Billy Bob Thornton, Duplass brothers, etc. I think you'll love that part.
  • whoa
    Saw 'Boyhood' at the SFIFF. One of the greatest films I've seen in YEARS. This man is an absolute genius and one of the best auteurs we have working today. I hope he continues making films for a long, long time.
  • Pop Ninjas
    I only want to see the Richard Linklater documentary filmed by Richard Linklater.
    • Michael Dunaway
      You and me both. That would be fascinating to see.
  • Michael Dunaway
    Alex, thanks for the piece and the kind comments! Reach out to me on FB or at michael.dunaway@pastemagazine.com and I'll see what I can get to you.

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