Richard Linklater born
Richard Linklater may be turning 50 today, but the Austin-based writer-director's continuously inventive brand of filmmaking will always represent a time associated with youth. Not just the youth of adolescent emotion, captured so well in his high school drama Dazed and Confused, but the youth of endless possibilities, a time in which chance, serendipity and improvisation can change one's life forever — or at least for the next week. The DNA of Linklater's filmmaking was imprinted with his first feature, Slacker, a 1991 "no-budget" independent film in which a succession of characters drift through the streets of Austin, connecting, disconnecting, and sharing their offbeat visions from the margins of mainstream society. In two later films, Before Sunrise and Before Sunset, Linklater follows a man and woman as they meet, connect, and, perhaps, drift away (or not...) The films are odes to chance encounters that, particularly in Before Sunset, generously believe in the second chance. In other film work, Linklater has explored new forms of animation (Waking Life, A Scanner Darkly), made drama out of statistics (Fast Food Nation), and celebrated the fusion of youth culture (rock 'n' roll) with actual youth (in School of Rock). Film may not alway belong to the young, but it does belong to new ideas, so we look forward to Rick Linklater's next decade.