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Richard Linklater: Dream is Destiny


Stars: Richard Linklater. Also appearing: Jack Black, Patricia Arquette, Julie Delpy, Kevin Smith, Ethan Hawke, Matthew McConaughey

Director: Louis Black, Karen Bernstein

This fascinating documentary, is one of the best of its type since, not only is it entertainingly told by directors Louis Black and Karen Bernstein but, even better, they succeed in telling Linklater’s story without the all-too-prevalent ass-licking that so often infects similar movies.

They fascinatingly follow their Texan-born subject’s early life and career - a “sharp kid, wide range of interests” says his father and, as a teenager, he wanted to be a novelist and a major league baseball player and he worked one summer working offshore on an oil rig, giving up library visits and baseball in the process.

Linklater, who comments on camera ““I was just falling in love with cinema” started his career as a major moviegoer when he moved to Austin where, he stated, “I wanted to be part of a an artistic troupe” and joined the Austin Film Society in order to make his landmark movie Slacker.

“I think I got really lucky with Slacker”, Linkater has stated, adding,“ That was a film that probably shouldn't have been seen”.

It was and, without planning, made it’s mark with Generation X moviegoers, catalysing an extraordinary career whose 24 or so films include such varied offerings as Dazed and Confused, the trilogy Before Sunset, Before Midnight (the lowest-earning film ever to spawn a sequel) and Before Sunrise, plus such studio produced movies as School of Rock, Bad News Bears and the badly undervalued Me and Orson Welles as well his masterpiece Boyhood (“there was no 12-year-script until completed”) shot over a 12 year period and which was nominated for six Oscars and won Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role for Patricia Arquette.

His comments “I was always working on something even if it didn’t lead to anything”, “You don’t pick writing, it picks you” and “I live in a delusional world” vividly illuminate his creative process, with footage of his filmmaking technique and to-camera evidence from, among others, Jack Black, Julie Delpy, Kevin Smith, Ethan Hawke, Matthew McConaughey and Patricia Arquette, make the documentary – which also features intriguing footage of Linklater making his movies - unmissable.

Best of all, Dream is Destiny proves Linklater is a genuine auteur and not, as happens far too frequently, simply hailed as one as a convenient critical shortcut.

Alan Frank

USA 2016. UK Distributor: Dogwoof. Colour.
90 minutes. not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 1, Swearing 2.

Review date: 06 Nov 2016