Richard Linklater is the subject of a new Sundance documentary that puts the filmmaker in a position he’s not accustomed to: being in front of the camera, not behind it.
“I can go on forever about the films I’ve made and my cast and all that; it’s such a weird reversal of perspective to have a film with you as the subject — it’s a little unnerving,” he admits, speaking to EW from the festival.
Richard Linklater: Dream is Destiny — which you can see the exclusive poster for below — examines the auteur’s life and work (which includes Dazed and Confused, the Before Sunrise films, and last year’s coming-of-age awards season darling, Boyhood), as well as the independent style of filmmaking that arose from Austin, Texas, in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s that Linklater helped establish.
The doc finds Linklater, by his own description, approaching mid-career and middle age.
“Watching this, you have to kind of confront the middle age, middle career status. But I can’t complain,” he says. “I feel very grateful. I look at the much younger person in the [documentary] trying to make films, and so I kind of look ahead and go, ‘Keep doing what you’re doing. You’re gonna have good times and bad times.’ I just felt lucky to still be here, doing what I’m doing.”
Co-directors/producers Louis Black and Karen Bernstein interviewed Linklater, members of his family, and many of his films’ stars for Dream is Destiny, and were also on set as he was shooting Everybody Wants Some, an 1980s-set story about college baseball players that he’s wanted to make for 10 years.
Linklater has described the film as a “spiritual sequel” to 1993’s Dazed and Confused, but he also says it’s a continuation of 2014’s Boyhood, which followed a young boy (Ellar Coltrane) from early childhood to his arrival at college.
“It begins where Boyhood ends: a guy shows up at college, his first hours in college. I mean, a very different person. Ellar’s the artist and [Everybody Wants Some’s] guy’s the guy who’s drinking, carousing. He’s a different part of me, I guess,” he says with a laugh.
Everybody Wants Some, like Dazed, is inspired by Linklater’s own life, and it might have been even more fun to make than its predecessor. “Dazed is all about high school, and college is better than high school. It just is,” he says. “It’s more fun, more freedom, more choices. So that’s how I see the movie. It’s just a better time in your life.”
In addition to premiering the Richard Linklater: Dream is Destiny poster, you can see an exclusive outtake from the documentary at the top of this post, in which Coltrane discusses why he thinks Linklater chose him for Boyhood. Linklater’s take on that crucial decision: “I remember just following the instinct of, ‘Well, this guy’s the least kiss-assy. … I’ll go with the more ethereal artist-y, art dude,’ because I wanted him to evolve into some artist. That was my story. I thought I wouldn’t be faking that with him, most likely, and it wasn’t.”
Dream is Destiny debuts at Sundance on Tuesday, Jan. 26.