Richard Stuart Linklater (; born July 30, 1960) is an American film director, producer, and screenwriter. He is known for films that revolve mainly around suburban culture
and the effects of the passage of time
. His films include the comedies ''Slacker
'' (1990) and ''Dazed and Confused
'' (1993); the ''Before'' trilogy romance
'' (1995), ''Before Sunset
'' (2004), and ''Before Midnight
'' (2013); the music-themed comedy ''School of Rock
'' (2003); the animated
films ''Waking Life
'' (2001) and ''A Scanner Darkly
'' (2006); the coming-of-age drama ''Boyhood
'' (2014); and the comedy film ''Everybody Wants Some!!
Linklater is known to have a distinct style and method of filmmaking. Many of his films are noted for their loosely structured narrative; also, the ''Before'' trilogy and ''Boyhood'' both feature the same actors filmed over an extended period of years. He has received several Academy Award
nominations and won the Silver Bear for Best Director
at the Berlin International Film Festival
for his work on ''Before Sunrise''. He also won a Golden Globe Award
for directing ''Boyhood''. In 2015, Linklater was included on the annual ''Time'' 100 list of the most influential people in the world
Linklater was born in Houston, Texas
, the son of Diane Margaret (née Krieger), who taught at Sam Houston State University
, and Charles W. Linklater, III. He attended Huntsville High School
in Huntsville, Texas
, during grades 9–11, where he played football for Joe Clements
as a backup quarterback for the #1 ranked team in the state. For his senior year, he moved to Bellaire High School
in Bellaire, Texas
because he was better at baseball than football and Bellaire had a better baseball coach. As a teen, Linklater won a Scholastic Art and Writing Award
Linklater studied at Sam Houston State University
(where he also played baseball), until dropping out to work on an offshore oil rig
in the Gulf of Mexico
. He frequently read novels on the rig and, upon returning to land, developed a love of film through repeated visits to a repertory theater in Houston. At this point, Linklater realized he wanted to be a filmmaker. He used his savings to buy a Super-8
camera, a projector, and editing equipment, and moved to Austin, Texas
He enrolled in Austin Community College
in the fall of 1984 to study film.
[Alison Macor. ''Chainsaws, Slackers, and Spy Kids 30 Years of Filmmaking in Austin, Texas'' University of Texas Press: Austin, 2010.]
1985–2000: Early directing
Linklater founded the Austin Film Society
in 1985 together with his frequent collaborator Lee Daniel
. One of the mentors for the Film Society was former New York City critic for the ''SoHo Weekly News
'' George Morris, who had relocated to Austin and taught film there.
For several years, Linklater made many short films that were exercises and experiments in film techniques. He finally completed his first feature, ''It's Impossible to Learn to Plow by Reading Books
'' (which is available in The Criterion Collection
edition of his second feature, ''Slacker
''), a Super-8 feature that took a year to shoot and another year to edit. The film is significant in the sense that it establishes most of Linklater's preoccupations. The film has his trademark style of minimal camera movements and lack of narrative, while it examines the theme of traveling with no particular direction in mind. These idiosyncrasies would be explored in greater detail in future projects.
Linklater created Detour Filmproduction (an homage to the 1945 low budget film noir
by Edgar G. Ulmer
), and subsequently made ''Slacker'' for only $23,000. It went on to gross more than $1.25 million. The film shows an aimless day in the life of the city of Austin, Texas showcasing its more eccentric characters.
While gaining a cult following in the independent film
world, he made his third film, ''Dazed and Confused
'', based on his years at Huntsville High School and the people he encountered there. The film garnered critical praise and grossed $8 million in the United States while becoming a hit on VHS. This film was also responsible for the breakout of fellow Texas native Matthew McConaughey
In 1995, Linklater won the Silver Bear for Best Director
for the film ''Before Sunrise
'' at the 45th Berlin International Film Festival
His next feature, ''subUrbia
'', had mixed reviews critically, and did very poorly at the box office. In 1998, he took on his first Hollywood feature, ''The Newton Boys
'', which received mixed reviews while tanking at the box office.
2001–2013: Wider recognition
With the rotoscope
films ''Waking Life
'' and ''A Scanner Darkly
'', and his mainstream comedies, ''School of Rock
'' and the remake of ''Bad News Bears
'', he gained wider recognition.
In 2003, he wrote and directed a pilot for HBO
with Rodney Rothman
called ''$5.15/hr'', about several minimum wage
restaurant workers. The pilot deals with themes later examined in ''Fast Food Nation
The British television network Channel 4 produced a documentary about Linklater, in which the filmmaker discussed the personal and philosophical ideas behind his films. ''St Richard of Austin'' was presented by Ben Lewis and directed by Irshad Ashraf
and broadcast on Channel 4 in December 2004 in the UK.
Linklater was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
for his film ''Before Sunset
''Waking Life'' and ''A Scanner Darkly'' both used rotoscoping
animation techniques. Working with Bob Sabiston
and Sabiston's program Rotoshop
to create this effect, Linklater shot and edited both movies completely as live-action features, then employed a team of artists to "trace over" individual frames. The result is a distinctive "semi-real" quality, praised by such critics as Roger Ebert
(in the case of ''Waking Life'') as being original and well-suited to the aims of the film.
''Fast Food Nation'' (2006) is an adaptation of the best selling book that examines the local and global influence of the United States fast food industry. The film was entered into the 2006 Cannes Film Festival
before being released in North America on November 17, 2006 and in Europe on March 23, 2007. The film received mixed reviews.
Linklater fared better with the critics with ''A Scanner Darkly'' (released in the same year), ''Me and Orson Welles
'' (2009), and ''Bernie
He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
for ''Before Midnight
'', the third film in the ''Before...'' trilogy.
In 2014 he released the film ''Boyhood
'', which had been 12 years in the making. ''Boyhood'' received overwhelming critical acclaim. Linklater won the Golden Globes
, Critics' Choice Movie Awards
, and BAFTA
s for Best Director and Best Picture. He also received his first nomination for the Academy Award for Best Director
, along with nominations for Best Original Screenplay
and Best Picture
For a while Linklater was attached to direct a remake of ''The Incredible Mr. Limpet
'' for Warner Brothers.
However, he dropped the project in favor of working on a spiritual successor to ''Dazed and Confused'', titled ''Everybody Wants Some!!
[ with backing from Annapurna Pictures and Paramount distributing the film in North America. The film was released in March 2016 and was well received by critics, but it failed to recoup its budget of 10 million dollars, grossing only 4.6 million.
In the second half of the 2010s, Linklater wrote and directed the drama film ''Last Flag Flying'', starring Bryan Cranston, Laurence Fishburne, and Steve Carell. A sequel to Hal Ashby's 1973 film ''The Last Detail'', it began filming in November 2016, and was released on November 3, 2017. Linklater then directed ''Where'd You Go, Bernadette'', based on the novel by Maria Semple and produced by Annapurna Pictures.
Linklater was attached to direct an adaptation of Graeme Simsion's novel ''The Rosie Project'' that would have starred Jennifer Lawrence in the lead role, but he dropped out of directing when Lawrence dropped out of the project.]
In 2019, it was announced that Linklater would be filming an adaptation of Stephen Sondheim's musical ''Merrily We Roll Along''. Like ''Boyhood'', it will be filmed over the course of several years, but, like the musical and the play it is based on, will be presented in reverse chronology.
Inspiration for Linklater's work was largely based on his experience viewing the film ''Raging Bull''.
It made me see movies as a potential outlet for what I was thinking about and hoping to express. At that point I was an unformed artist. At that moment, something was simmering in me, but ''Raging Bull'' brought it to a boil.
He was also influenced by Robert Bresson, Yasujirō Ozu, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Josef Von Sternberg, and Carl Theodor Dreyer.
Many of Linklater's films, including ''Slacker'', ''Dazed and Confused'', ''Tape'', and all three installments of the ''Before Trilogy'', take place in a single day. They are less plot driven and more about human interactions between people and they vary in time and situation.
Ethan Hawke and Matthew McConaughey have appeared in many of his films. Other actors who have appeared in more than one film include Jack Black, Julie Delpy, Ellar Coltrane, Adam Goldberg, Parker Posey, Rory Cochrane, Greg Kinnear, Patricia Arquette, and Laurence Fishburne.
Linklater lives in Austin, Texas and refuses to live or work in Hollywood for any extended period of time.
Linklater has been partnered with Christina Harrison since the 1990s. In 1994 they had a daughter, and twin girls in 2004. The oldest, Lorelei Linklater, co-starred in ''Boyhood'' as the sister of the main character.
Linklater has been a vegetarian since his early 20s. In 2015, he explained the dietary lifestyle in a ''Boyhood''-style documentary for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
Awards and nominations
*''Slacker'' (1991) was nominated for Best Director at the Independent Spirit Awards.
*''Before Sunrise'' (1995) won the Silver Bear for Best Director at the Berlin International Film Festival.
*''Waking Life'' (2001) was nominated for Best Director and Best Screenplay at the Independent Spirit Awards.
*''Before Sunset'' (2004) was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and Best Screenplay at the Independent Spirit Awards.
*''A Scanner Darkly'' (2006) – Named Best Austin Film by the Austin Film Critics Association.
*''Me and Orson Welles'' (2008) – Named Best Austin Film by the Austin Film Critics Association.
*''Bernie'' (2011) – Named Best Austin Film by the Austin Film Critics Association.
*''Before Midnight'' (2013) was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and Best Screenplay at the Independent Spirit Awards.
*''Boyhood'' (2014) was nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Film Editing, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Supporting Actress by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and won Best Supporting Actress for Patricia Arquette. It also won Golden Globes for Best Director and Best Motion Picture – Drama, as well as the Silver Bear for Best Director at the 64th Berlin International Film Festival."Richard Linklater"
allmovie.com. Retrieved June 28, 2013.
Received Best Film and Best Director honors from Los Angeles Film Critics Association
, Boston Society of Film Critics
, New York Film Critics Circle
, Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association
and New York Film Critics Online
*Linklater was made Honorary Associate of London Film School
Category:American male screenwriters
Category:Film directors from Texas
Category:Artists from Austin, Texas
Category:Bellaire High School (Bellaire, Texas) alumni
Category:Best Director BAFTA Award winners
Category:Best Director Golden Globe winners
Category:Film producers from Texas
Category:Filmmakers who won the Best Film BAFTA Award
Category:Golden Globe Award-winning producers
Category:Independent Spirit Award for Best Director winners
Category:People from Huntsville, Texas
Category:People in the petroleum industry
Category:Sam Houston State University alumni
Category:Sam Houston State Bearkats baseball players
Category:Screenwriters from Texas
Category:Silver Bear for Best Director recipients
Category:Writers from Austin, Texas
Category:Writers from Houston