BOYHOOD (2014)

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12 Years a Boy

Richard Linklater’s magnificent opus about the life of Mason played by Ellar Coltrane (cool surname), from 5 to 18 years old and his sister, Samantha, played by the director’s daughter, Lorelei Linklater took 12 years to film.

This remarkable coming of age drama is an incredibly successful experiment and such a joy to watch, at 165 minutes it never feels long, drawn out or filled with exposition. Linklater elicits wonderful performances from all involved and creates many beautiful moments. He filmed once or twice a year for 12 years and had a script that he kept malleable as he re-watched the previous years’ footage and utilised the actor’s changes and life lessons to inform and add to the constantly adaptable script.

It’s such a unique experience watching the children growing up during the duration of the film and what a joy it is. Already placing on critics ‘best of the year’ lists, this is well deserving of any awards that are and will come its way.

This is his most personal film being loosely based on his own experiences as a child and this comes through with bucketloads of charm and moments of truth and humanity. Starring his long-time collaborator, Ethan Hawke and with Patricia Arquette as Mason and Sam’s father and mother giving honest, truthful performances, Linklater had asked Hawke to take over filming if he died during the period.

Linklater is one of the most interesting directors working today, from his debut with Slacker through Dazed and Confused, School of Rock to the Before trilogy, he has shown himself to be an artist of incredible talent, consistent and constantly creating works of merit and mastery.

A must see.

Read an interview with the star, Ellar Coltrane at thefilmstage.com here

BUY THE DVD HERE

DOWNLOAD THE FILM ON iTUNES HERE

4/5

SIDE BY SIDE (2012)

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The evolution of cinema; the battle between celluloid and digital.

The old wise master and the young padwaan upstart.

This is a new world, as it changes and technology grows the facilities become clearer, improved, maybe not with the exact quality as the original but with freedom to do more, just differently.
Can film survive our digital future?

The death of the old master.

Keanu Reeves produces and acts as the interviewer in this fascinating documentary about the birth of digital film technology and the experience and artistic possibilities that celluloid film has.

One can see the many benefits of this new technology that is taking over and shoving celluloid out of the way. The new alpha. There is a certain look that shooting on film gives that digital has yet to fully emulate.

It is like the difference between the beautiful, spacious delivery of music played on a piece of vinyl to the compressed, generic sound of the cd format. Sure, the higher the quality of digital used (FLAC) the more sounds you will hear but it will never be the same as sticking Miles Davis’ A Kind of Blue on your turntable and hearing it with all that space.

The same can be said for digital film, especially for purists, for most, as long as it looks good then no problem. There will always be the vinyl/celluloid pimps out there flying the banner high for their religion of choice and that is a good thing.

Change will happen whether one likes it or not. The world is in a constant state of flux, so as it twists and turns it is becoming increasingly futile to try and hold onto the old without acknowledging or even embracing the new.

Lots of big directors are featured here, George Lucas and James Cameron obviously but also Martin Scorsese (3d Hugo), Richard Linklater, David Fincher, David Lynch, Steven Soderbergh, Robert Rodriguez as well as a plethora of lauded cinematographers (Walter Murch, Roger Deakins), editors and colourists all eschewing their wonderful, informed, expert opinions on the subject in hand.

Ultimately, if you are a fan of cinema, this will surely educate and enlighten you on the ways of the cinematic technology.

Film or Digital…you decide….you decide.

3.5/5

BUY THE BLU-RAY DVD HERE

DOWNLOAD THE FILM ON iTUNES HERE