Flatpack Festival
Film for all the senses

Richard Linklater: Flatpack Favourites

Thursday 4th April, 2024

Richard Linklater is a director known for his distinct style of filmmaking and launching the career of fellow-Texan Matthew McConaughey.

We’ve got somewhat of a mini-retrospective of Linklater’s work at the festival this year, screening his ‘Before… trilogy’ alongside Slacker and a live musical performance by his go-to composer, Graham Reynolds.

A few of the Flatpack programming team reflect on the Linklater flicks at the top of their list…

Amy Smart, Head of Partnerships: Dazed and Confused
Linklater has a knack for taking a movie about ordinary life and depicting it in an extraordinary way and there's no greater example of that than Dazed and Confused.

I came across it in the early naughties and even thought the film is set in 1976 every character is so familiar, whether you graduated from high school 25 years ago, or last week. This is one of those rare films where the characters feel so real and the dynamics between them feel so fleshed out that you forget there's basically no plot. Just a bunch of teenagers hanging out, smoking weed, drinking beer, and enjoying the first day of summer.

Alright, alright, alright...

Sam Groves, Head of Programme: The Before... Trilogy
I was a fair few years into my teens when I first saw Linklater's Before Sunrise. I had heard murmurings from some older kids that this was a 'one to watch' but didn't quite know what to expect. 'Romantic dramas' didn't seem particularly interesting to me, but I gave it a go. It was like nothing I'd really seen before. Each line spoken, I was more involved; increasingly desperate for these two strangers to fully express their feelings for each other. But that would have been too straightforward for Linklater - instead, we went on a near two-decade-long journey with these two characters through what is one of the greatest trilogies ever made. I've never turned my nose up at a romantic drama since, but I've also never been quite as emotionally involved with a couple as Jesse and Celine.

What makes screening the trilogy in full all the more exciting, is having Graham Reynolds composer from the final 'Before' film (and many other Linklater films) at the festival to perform music from his brilliant first solo EP plus some of the music from his collaborations with Linklater.

Ian Francis, Director: Boyhood
Many of Linklater’s films deal with the passing of time in some way, but nowhere with such sustained force as in Boyhood. Shooting around 15 minutes worth of film every year over the course of 12 years, developing the script on the fly with his cast, the director emerged with a wonderfully intimate time-lapse portrait of one family. You’d think that one such epic undertaking would be enough, but Linklater is aiming to repeat the trick on an even larger canvas with Paul Mescal on the upcoming Merrily We Roll Along, in production now and due to land sometime around 2040…

Max Harding, Shorts Programmer: School of Rock
Yeah, Richard Linklater is perhaps more known for his thoughtful, artistic pieces on how the passage of time affects us all, but he's also the only director brave enough to ask: what if kids could rock?

Featuring a great soundtrack, an endlessly quotable script (courtesy of The White Lotus' Mike White), and Jack Black's best ever performance (according to him at least), it's quite possibly the best film ever.

Book now to get your fill of Linklater at Flatpack 2024.

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