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Monday, September 27th, 2021  

Richard Linklater: Dream Is Destiny

Studio: Sundance Selects
Directed by Karen Bernstein and Louis Black

Aug 10, 2016 Web Exclusive
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As a face of the American indie-film movement of the 1980s and the director of eighteen films over the last three decades, Richard Linklater is one of cinema’s most prominent living auteurs. The new documentary, Richard Linklater: Dream Is Destiny, explores his career, his relationships with his collaborators and the sensibilities that made him one of the defining voices of his generation.

Co-directed by documentarian Karen Bernstein and Austin Chronicle/SXSW founder Louis Black, Dream is Destiny feels intimate in a way that only a film made by friends can. The friendship between Black and Linklater dates back to Black’s appearance in Linklater’s breakout 1991 film, Slacker, and their comfortable rapport comes through in segments like the one in Linklater’s attic where they’re poring over his thirty year-old notebooks and early film scripts. Linklater himself comes off exactly the way one would expect based on his films; dreamy and slightly pretentious but easy-going and charming.

The film follows a fairly standard documentary format, intercutting Linklater and Black’s conversations with old behind the scenes footage from his work and talking head segments with his frequent collaborators, including Ethan Hawke, Jack Black and Julie Delpy. His career is explored more or less chronologically and while the majority of the attention is given to his major works - Dazed and Confused, the Before trilogy, Boyhood - the film doesn’t shy away from his lesser known works and misfires, such as Tape and The Newton Boys. The interview subjects also do a good job of avoiding the trite “He’s a genius” talking points and actually grappling with some of the subjects Linklater explores in his work, such as time and human connection.

Dream is Destiny is unlikely to convert anyone who isn’t already interested in Linklater, but fans of his work will find it a comprehensive and engaging overview of his career and philosophy.

linklaterdoc.com

Author rating: 7/10

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