Richard Linklater On His New Movie, Texas Film and a Documentary About His Career

“I just wanted to kind of stay where I was and tell stories and do my thing. I’ve gotten very lucky to be able to do that.”

By Laura RiceMarch 8, 2016 12:57 pm

Filmmaker Richard Linklater has played a huge part in putting the Texas film industry on the map. A forthcoming documentary, debuting during SXSW in the coming weeks, explores his role in boosting Austin-area film industry.

“I couldn’t believe the rest of the world didn’t want to come and spend the entire weekend watching a Russian silent film, an avant-garde series of shorts, a documentary,” he says in the documentary, “Dream of Destiny.”

Linklater’s also had a heck of a year: He won awards at the Golden Globes for best film and best director for his movie “Boyhood” in 2015. He filmed the movie over a span of 12 years, keeping the same cast. The film watched fictional characters age in real-time, something that hadn’t been done before in the American film industry.

Linklater also has his own new film coming out soon. He sat down with host David Brown to talk about the film, and the austin film industry. He says “Everybody Wants Some” is “a spiritual sequel” to “Dazed and Confused.”

On the “Everybody Wants Some” soundtrack:

“The soundtrack is gonna come out in a double vinyl … which only is about half the music in the movie, but it’s gonna be a lot of fun.”

On the idea behind the movie:

“This takes place opening weekend of college 1980. … It’s four years later (from ‘Dazed and Confused’) chronologically. … I’ve been trying to make this movie for a long time, so if I got anything out of ‘Boyhood,’ it was the ability to make this movie.

“This is my memoir of being a college baseball player. Even though it’s not baseball season, it’s just getting to know all my new roommates. So there’s really no baseball in the movie, per se. There’s one player’s only practice on the third day, briefly. But it’s the spirit of being on a team. It’s bonding with your future teammates. It’s just the utter competitive nature of athletes at that level. It’s very different than high school. In a way, it’s a critique on uber-competitive male behavior.”

On Texas as a sense of place in his films:

“On ‘Dazed and Confused’ I kept it kind of neutral. If you looked closely you would see Texas license plates. But they didn’t really reference Texas that much. … But this movie – I think not only because it’s way in the past, but also the people depicted in the movie are of age (drinking age was 18 in the ‘80s) – I was so happy to be able to show Lone Star beer or Schlitz.

“It just felt that much more authentic. But I wanted it to feel very specific to a place and time. In this case, a smallish college in East Texas. So I was trying to depict life in that world.”

On the documentary about his work and life:

“It’s very strange to see yourself depicted. I think I’ve been interviewed for 25-plus years now. so a quarter century of that, you get kind of used to it seeing yourself or your opinions or something depicted in another form. But a documentary is … it was just different.

“It’s nothing I welcomed really, it just sort of happened. … I never agreed until the film was over what we were even doing. They caught me at a very good time. I was busy. I was making a movie.”

On helping the Austin film industry become cohesive:

“The film industry has grown enormously. I’m so proud of the Austin Film Society and what we’ve done over the last 30 years. I give that credit to Austin itself, and to Texas itself, and to all the wonderful people who’ve worked so hard. You’re kind of the coach of a team.”

On staying in Austin, instead of taking the Hollywood route:

“I came along at a time when I didn’t really have to move to L.A. I think on one hand I might have been better off in a certain way, I might’ve made more money or something. But it just was so against my nature. I didn’t want to. I don’t really like it so much out there. I just wanted to kind of stay where I was and tell stories and do my thing. I’ve gotten very lucky to be able to do that.”

Post by Beth Cortez-Neavel.