Significant Sundance Addition: Boyhood

Richard Linklater‘s Boyhood, a kind of Michael Apted-ish docudrama about the real-life journey of a boy from age 6 through 18, has been added to the 2014 Sundance Film Festival slate. Pic will screen at the Eccles on Sunday, 1.19. The film, which has been shooting in Austin at semi-regular intervals since ’02, follows the young lead, Ellar Simon, from age 6 or 7 to 18, or from kindergarten to leaving home for college. Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette play his divorced parents. The film is obviously inspired by Apted’s Up films — a series of docs that have portrayed the lives of several British kids since 1964.


Boyhood star Ellar Simon.

Hawke told Indiewire that “[after] about 20 minutes, your eyes just start tearing up and you don’t even know why. It’s about the nature of time and how it’s crashing into us all.” In another interview with Flixist, Hawke elaborated: “In just the period of a two-hour movie, you watch a human being grow up. It’s almost like watching a flower bloom in time-elapsed photography. For one minute you’re watching a six-year-old boy, and it’s so beautiful what Richard does with time: you don’t ever see him go from six to seven, to seven to eight, to eight to nine. I think it’s the greatest thing that Linklater’s ever done. It’s mind-blowing.”

Apology: When I first posted this I somehow confused Boyhood with “Youth,” the Joseph Conrad short story.

  • Correcting Jeff

    Sounds fascinating, thanks for sharing Jeff. On the surface I’m not sure what makes it unique– what makes it any different from watching “a human being grow up” in the course of several seasons of television?– but I’ll of course be there for anything Linklater does.

    • http://www.stlcardinalbaseball.com/ Ray DeRousse

      The growth is more condensed in a film, and is therefore heightened. Nobody noticed the growth of the HARRY POTTER kids over the course of several films until the montage in the final film slams the point home about their growth and friendship.

      • Correcting Jeff

        Fair point that I considered.

      • moviewatcher

        I think pretty much everyone noticed the growth of the harry potter kids. There was an obvious jump from 2 to 3 and from 4 to 5. The other transitions do meld together though.

        As for Boyhood, it’s also special because it’s a child grouwing from 7th to 18th birthday. That is at once a cheerful, daunting, horrifying, inspiring, troubling and the best time of many people’s lives. I’m sure Linklater will find a way to make it incredibly poignant without being heavy-handed (he’s a master at dealing with time).

  • GigglesForGigli

    So is it Boyhood or Youth?

  • Mr. F.

    Hadn’t heard about this until a few days ago, and it immediately became a must-see for me. Can’t wait.

  • Carl LaFong

    Antoine Doinel approves…