Richard Linklater

It’s no secret that we love Constellation round these parts – we’ve already hosted one screening through the online movie-viewing platform (a barn-burner of a Rashomon screening) and we’ve got a terrifyingly appropriate one teed up for later this week (that would be our 4/20 screening of The Big Lebowski) – but for all the fun it provides, the site is admirable because of its unique ability to allow film fans access to great movies and filmmakers without having to actually do something nuts, like leave the house to go to a movie theater (I kid). This week, Constellation is hosting a free special sneak peek of Richard Linklater‘s Bernie, along with a live online Q&A session with the filmmaker. This Thursday, April 19th, at 8:00 PM EST, Constellation will play a series of exclusive clips from the upcoming film, including behind-the-scenes looks and true-story featurettes, with Linklater hosting the post-screening Q&A. The conversation will take place in Constellation’s virtual movie theater platform, with Linklater live via webcam. Even better? It’s free!

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Bernie is director Richard Linklater‘s most accessible film in years. It falls somewhere in the middle between his commercial features and his more experimental works as a splendid mix of both sensibilities. Bernie is hilarious, clever, sweet, thought-provoking, and a fine example of the most interesting type of comedy. Set in Carthage, East Texas, the true-life story follows Bernhardt “Bernie” Tiede (Jack Black), a happy-go-lucky member of the community. He’s about as well-liked as they come and the type of guy who would never hurt a fly. Bernie, a local mortician, is also a mystery. The only people he has any known relationships with are the old widows he comforts. Are his intentions sexual? The film doesn’t say. When the most disliked member of his community, Marjorie Nugent (Shirley MacLaine), loses her husband, Bernie tries to prove she isn’t the horrid person everyone makes her out to be.

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Richard Linklater‘s latest film, Bernie, features Jack Black as a mustachioed mortician who all the townsfolk admire. His character is a people person, which is probably why he tries to make nice with the snarly widow played by Shirley MacLaine. A romance blossoms, but there’s still plenty of dirt in the woman’s heart, and from the looks of the new trailer, she doesn’t get to see the end credits. And apparently Matthew McConaughey plays a lawyer convinced dear old Bernie is a killer. Jack Black ratcheting it down a notch? Maybe without even scatting? MacLaine essentially reprising her Guarding Tess role? McConaughey with a shirt on? Looks great:

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Austin Cinematic Limits

I promise not to begin every Austin Cinematic Limits post with a discussion on Richard Linklater’s significance to Austin’s filmmaking community, but he is an integral piece of the puzzle when it comes to Austin’s long-standing relationship with the Sundance Film Festival. Other Austin filmmakers may have traveled with films to Sundance before him (though I am not sure who they are), but Linklater deserves the credit for initially spraying Austin’s mark on the snowy slopes of Sundance with his regional premiere of Slacker in 1991 — and Linklater did not end his relationship with Sundance there, as he holds the distinction of being the Austin director who has screened the most feature films at Sundance (Slacker [1991], Before Sunrise [1995], SubUrbia [1996], Waking Life [2001] and Tape [2001]). Ever since Linklater plowed that initial path in January 1991, Austin filmmakers have frequented the silver screens at Sundance year after year. In fact, no matter how you define an Austin filmmaker or Austin film production, I guarantee that Austin ranks extremely high on the list of cities that have sent the most films to Sundance. In turn, Sundance has done a lot for Austin’s reputation as the “Third Coast” of filmmaking in the United States; Sundance has also helped launch the careers of several now-famous Austin filmmakers including Robert Rodriguez (El Mariachi), Wes Anderson (Bottle Rocket [13 min short]), Catherine Hardwicke (thirteen), and the Duplass brothers (The Puffy Chair).

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Austin Cinematic Limits

Editor’s Note: For several years, Film School Rejects has called the city of Austin, TX home. And throughout that time, we’ve enjoyed the always rich film scene in our own backyard. Starting today, we’re going to celebrate that love with the world through this new column written by new writer and Austinite Don Simpson. With Austin Cinematic Limits, we’ll share with you stories from the Austin film scene, give our friends and neighbors in Central Texas a weekly guide to what’s happening and celebrate all that’s great about the city in which Reject HQ resides. Yes, I admit it, Richard Linklater’s Slacker played a majorly geeky role in my fateful decision to pack my bags and relocate my butt to Austin during the summer of 1998. It was not until recently, however, that I honed in on the precise moment — the proverbial flapping of the butterfly’s wing — that propelled my life towards this long, strange tangential path on which I find myself today. It was my first visit to Austin during the spring of 1997. I arrived in the old Mueller Airport and hopped into a taxicab. The young, shaggy-haired, beatnik driver immediately commenced a sprawling diatribe of sociopolitical non-sequiturs (accented with a few conspiracy theories for good measure) that transported me into the cerebral cortex of Austin that was oh-so-brilliantly documented on celluloid by Linklater seven years earlier. Needless to say, the words “I am literally inside Slacker” swirled around inside my head for the entire 15-minute […]

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A lot of people still fondly remember Before Sunrise, the romance Richard Linklater released in 1995 about a couple of young people (played by Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy) who meet on a train, spend a day together in Vienna, and then part ways, perhaps never to see each other again. It’s a quiet little movie about love and relationships, a character piece that focuses pretty solely on maintaining a dialogue and travelogue-esque location spotlighting. But it worked, and the ambiguity of the ending, where you never knew if these two kids with this immediate connection would ever really see each other again, was pretty sublime. So there was a lot of apprehension when it was announced that a sequel, Before Sunset, would be released in 2004, at least on my part. This one was about the same two characters reuniting nine years later, and this time spending a day together in Paris. Surely this sequel would ruin the perfection of the first film and all of that delicious ambiguity that it left you with, wouldn’t it? Turns out, not really. Before Sunset showed us how Hawke and Delpy’s characters had aged and matured in interesting, but authentic ways, it completely recaptured the magic of the first film, and it diminished the original in no way. That’s no small feat, but surely a third film would be the charm when it came to ruining what those first two offered up, wouldn’t it? Could Hawke and Delpy walking around a city […]

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One of director Richard Linklater’s first films, and his big breakthrough, was 1991’s Slacker, a movie about misfit young people in Austin, Texas. Many years and a storied film career later and Linklater finds himself aiming his focus at the youth set once again, but this time he’s looking at a decidedly different subset of the country’s up and comers. College Republicans is a biopic that follows the college careers of conservative political figures Karl Rove and Lee Atwater. Rove and Atwater are divisive figures to be sure, but even their most vicious critics would have to agree that slackers they are not. This might prove to be a chance for Linklater to change up his dreamy, slow moving storytelling style a bit and do something more kinetic and Social Network-y. College Republicans, written by Wes Jones, appeared on the 2010 Black List of best unproduced scripts in Hollywood, and it focuses on the meeting of the Republican brain trust of the past few decades, back when they were in college and Rove was running to become president of the College Republicans. It was during this period that they perfected many of the controversial political strategies that would lead to the duo being prominent figures in the Nixon campaign and both Bush administrations. Despite the fact that Shia LaBeouf was once thought to be attached to this project, now that Linklater has his hands on it, that no longer seems to be the case. Instead, The Wrap is reporting that […]

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Why Watch? Because Goodfellas can never be praised enough. Over twenty years later, Scorsese’s film about wiseguys has proven itself to be a modern classic, and this cool, breezy documentary allows directors like Jon Favreau, The Hughes Brothers, Joe Carnahan, Richard Linklater, Antoine Fuqua and Frank Darabont geek out about a movie they love. So what could be better than watching directors break down a fantastic film’s best elements while sharing the effect it had on them? What does it cost? Just 13 minutes of your time. Check out Made Men: The GoodFellas Legacy for yourself:

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Culture Warrior

Last week, as I watched Quentin Dupieux’s Rubber, I noticed that the trailers on the rental Blu-Ray were all of titles sharing space at the top of my queue: titles like Takashi Miike’s 13 Assassins, Kim Ji-woon’s I Saw the Devil, and Jason Eisener’s Hobo with a Shotgun. All, I quickly realized, had been released by the same studio, Magnet Releasing, whose label I recalled first noticing in front of Nicolas Winding Refn’s Bronson. After some quick Internet searching, I quickly realized what I should have known initially, that Magnet was a subsidiary of indie distributor Magnolia Pictures. The practices of “indie” subsidiaries of studios has become commonplace. That majors like Universal and 20th Century Fox carry specialty labels Focus Features and Fox Searchlight which market to discerning audiences irrespective of whether or not the individual titles released are independently financed or studio-produced has become a defining practice for limited release titles and has, perhaps more than any other factor, obscured the meaning of the term “independent film” (Sony Pictures Classics, which only distributes existing films, is perhaps the only subsidiary arm of a major studio whose releases are actually independent of the system itself). This fact is simply one that has been accepted for quite some time in the narrative of small-scale American (or imported) filmmaking. Especially in the case of Fox Searchlight, whose opening banner distinguishes itself from the major in variation on name only, subsidiaries of the majors can hardly even be argued as “tricking” audiences into […]

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Criterion Files

When I write this column, I typically don’t get the opportunity to write about movies from my teen years. I, like many, came into a cinephilic love for art and foreign cinema during college, and in that process grew to appreciate The Criterion Collection. Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused (1993), however, is a movie that’s followed me through various changes in my life for (I’m just now realizing as I write this) about half of my time thus far spent on Earth.

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Attention film geeks: Angela Ismailos’s new documentary sits ten directing icons down and gets dirty with them, their inspirations and their processes.

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Richard Linklater returns to the big screen with an entertaining backstage period piece that’s pretty insubstantial, save for Christian McKay’s remarkable performance as Orson Welles.

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KevinSmith

On the 16th anniversary of the first public screening of Clerks, we get personal with the man, the myth, the lunchbox as he rips his heart off his sleeve and slams it down on the table.

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Freestyle Releasing has unveiled the final domestic trailer for Richard Linklater’s upcoming drama Me and Orson Welles, which stars Zac Efron and Christian McKay.

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2008 Toronto International Film Festival

Even though we weren’t allowed to make the trip across the border into Canada, we would still like to bring you some of the Toronto Film Fest updates from our friends and neighbors around the web.

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If it’s hot where you live, but you still feel like you haven’t gotten all you can out of summer and it’s relentless, unforgiving, soul-crushing heat, here are ten movies you can watch that’ll help change your mind and keep you indoors.

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published: 11.21.2014
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published: 11.21.2014
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published: 11.19.2014
C+
published: 11.19.2014
B-, C


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