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Richard Linklater's filmmaking choices seem to defy basic patterns of authorship. From his debut with the inventive independent narrative Slacker,the Austin-based director's divergent films have included the sci-fi noir A Scanner Darkly,the socially conscious Fast Food Nation,the kid-friendly The School of Rock,the nostalgia-soaked Dazed and Confused,and the twin romances Before Sunriseand Before Sunset.Yet throughout his varied career spanning two decades, Linklater has maintained a sense of integrity while working within a broad range of budgets, genres, and subject matters. Identifying a critical commonality among so much variation, David T. Johnson analyzes Linklater's preoccupation with the concept of time in many of his films, focusing on its many forms and aspects: the subjective experience of time and the often explicit, self-aware ways that characters discuss that experience; time and memory, and the ways that characters negotiate memory in the present; the moments of adolescence and early adulthood as crucial moments in time; the relationship between time and narrative in film; and how cinema, itself, may be becoming antiquated. While Linklater's focus on temporality often involves a celebration of the present that is not divorced from the past and future, Johnson argues that this attendance to the present also includes an ongoing critique of modern American culture. Crucially filling a gap in critical studies of this American director, the volume concludes with an interview with Linklater discussing his career.
David T. Johnson is an associate professor of English at Salisbury University and the coeditor of Conversations with Directors: An Anthology of Interviews from Literature/Film Quarterly.
Table of Contents
Time is a Lie
Slowly Moving Trains, Welcome to Austin, and L-I-V-I-N
A Brief Encounter, the Road to Burnfield, and One Hell of a Way to Make a Living
Dreaming in Digital, Motel Confessions, and the Poet of Wall Street
For Those about to Rock, Late Afternoon in Paris, and Remixing a Little League Season
Little Blue Flowers and Echoes from the Slaughterhouse
Fields of Play and Waiting for Orson
Interview with Richard Linklater
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