Filmmaker ​Richard Linklater on "Boyhood" and time


The Austin director whose latest movie follows a boy from ages six to 18 says, "The manipulation of time is the unique property of cinema."

CBS News

Richard Linklater's 2003 film "School of Rock" starred Jack Black as a musician who never grew up. Martha Teichner tells us about Linklater's NEWEST film:

Never before has one of filmmaker Richard Linklater's movies generated the kind of buzz "Boyhood" has.

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The film follows a boy, Mason (played by Ellar Coltrane) from age six to 18. He literally grows up before your very eyes.

His sister is played by Lorelei Linklater, the director's daughter; their divorced parents, by Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke.

What's remarkable about "Boyhood" is that it was shot over twelve years. Time (and how it changes people) is the subject.

"What Rick is doing with this movie has been done in literature a lot," said Hawke, "But it hasn't really been done in a movie, and you get the chance to really watch a family develop over the course of a decade, and it's a powerful tool."

"The manipulation of time is the unique property of cinema," said Linklater. "If cinema is painting, time is the paint. It's that fundamental."

“Boyhood” actor on role 12 years in the m... 02:20

Linklater visited one of the earliest locations used in the film, when the main character is in first grade. "I haven't been back here . . . it's been 12 years since we filmed here," he said.

"I had one of these in my life, from [the time] you're born 'til you're about seven. It's the house you kind of grew up in and that seems like home. For the rest of your life you kind of have dreams that you're still back there."

The story is moved along by the accumulation of small but emotionally-loaded moments, including one scene that came straight from Linklater's own boyhood.

"I call it my redneck bar mitzvah year," Linklater said. "I got a personalized Bible and a 20-gauge. I look back and say, "Oh that is kind of funny," but I think there's a part of this that wants also wants to see something that is part of my life."

Richard Linklater takes filmmaking very serio... 02:14

Born in Houston, Linklater went to college on a baseball scholarship, but when a heart condition ended his sports career, he dropped out and went to work on an offshore oil rig.

"When I was on land, I was watching three, four films a day and going home and reading about the actor, the director, the studio. So it was a great education."

In his early twenties, with his oil rig earnings, he moved to Austin, Texas, determined to make films. Austin was a prominent feature of his first film, "Slacker." Linklater is in it as well. His eccentric characters kind of bounce off each other randomly over a 24-hour period.

He made "Slacker" for $23,000. Released in 1991, it grossed more than $1.2 million.

"I just kind of dedicated my life to film," he said. "It's like, if it's the priesthood, I joined. And that was it. That was just my whole life, and I didn't know where that would lead."

It led to another movie about time, "Dazed and Confused," a comedy cult classic about Austin high school kids on the last day of school. The film introduced moviegoers to an unknown Matthew McConnaughey ("All right all right all righhhhttttt!")

Linklater has made 18 features, including popular hits like "School of Rock" starring Jack Black. His "Before" trilogy about one romance ("Before Sunrise," "Before Sunset" and "Before Midnight") with Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, was nominated for two Oscars.