North Texas Daily

Richard Linklater documentary emerges as Thin Line’s ‘Secret Screening’

Richard Linklater documentary emerges as Thin Line’s ‘Secret Screening’

February 22
09:55 2016

Kayleigh Bywater | Senior Staff Writer


When the lights went down for the Secret Screening at the Campus Theatre at 8:15 Saturday night and scenes began playing on screen from the 1991 classic “Slacker,” eyebrows rose, viewers leaned forward in their seats and the theatre became eerily quiet.

Then, different scenes graced the screen, which made me grip the side of my chair in anticipation for what I thought was about to come.

“And this year, the Critic’s Choice is…” and “And the Golden Globe goes to…” were a couple of the telling signs for what was about to occupy the movie screen for the next hour and a half.

“Slacker,” “Dazed and Confused,” “School of Rock” and “Boyhood” are only a few of the groundbreaking titles that came from the mind and direction of Texas-based filmmaker Richard Linklater. This weekend, those daring enough to buy tickets to the Thin Line Film Fest “secret screening” were the first general public audience to experience this latest documentary by the film mastermind: “Richard Linklater: Dream is Destiny.”

Filmmaker Richard Linklater answers a question after the screening of his film "Richard Linklater: Dream is Destiny" Saturday night at the Campus Theatre. Erica Wieting | Features Editor

Executive producer Alan Berg answers a question after the screening of the documentary “Richard Linklater: Dream is Destiny” Saturday night at the Campus Theatre. Erica Wieting | Features Editor

Directed by Louis Black and Karen Bernstein, the documentary was shown for the first time at Sundance Film Festival in January 2015, exactly 25 years after Linklater’s Sundance debut with “Slacker.”

In this tasteful, artsy and inspiring documentary, Black and Bernstein showcase Linklater’s unique film style, which goes against Hollywood industry norms.

“Everything I’ve done was all leading up to something [big],” Linklater said.

The documentary spans from the years before the Houston native made his leap into filmmaking to the filming of “Everybody Wants Some,” which will be released this year.

The film starts out with taking a look into Linklater’s early life, mentioning his love for writing and his desire to showcase a new type of voice in the film industry. Black dives in to personal aspects of Linklater’s experiences, showing behind-the-scenes footage of the director and specific writings from his personal journal.

“You don’t pick writing – it picks you,” his journal read.

Afterwards, Black and Bernstein go movie-by-movie in Linklater’s archive. Not only do they incorporate Linklater’s hardships of coming out of Austin while integrating his indie aesthetic, but they also have interviews with close friends and colleagues. Ethan Hawke, Jack Black and Matthew McConaughey were only a few of the personal interviews speaking on behalf of the risk-taking director.

In the film, Black was also able to get Linklater to open up about the ups and downs of being such a unique figure in film. Linklater said he was willing to admit that he was dissatisfied with how some of his movies were presented, but that he never let anything grab hold of his projects too much.

Richard Linklater, director of "Richard Linklater: Dream is Destiny," speaks onstage at the Campus Theatre in a Q&A session about his documentary. Erica Wieting | Features Editor

Alan Berg, executive producer of “Richard Linklater: Dream is Destiny,” speaks onstage at the Campus Theatre in a Q&A session. Erica Wieting | Features Editor

“You can’t predict or control what will happen to your movie after you finish it,” Linklater said. “It would be heartbreaking if the final product was completely taken from [me].”

He did mention afterward that each project has turned out exactly how he initially dreamed it would.

The great thing about this documentary is that it doesn’t focus solely on Linklater’s triumphs or his failures. Instead, it concentrates on a director who creates the movies that he wants to, despite what the “industry” will think. With his young adult focuses, intricate time spans and Texas-centered plots, Linklater began somewhat of a new era in film.

“Rick doesn’t look through Hollywood’s eyes,” said Ethan Hawke, star of both “Before Sunrise” and “Boyhood.”

There’s a comfortable and easy-going nature about the documentary that makes you feel as though you just had an hour-long conversation with Linklater himself. His honesty, trust in himself and willingness to bring viewers into his world sets him apart from many other directors in this period, and this most recent film showcased his distinctive art form.

“To be an artist is to create something new and living while surprising yourself,” Linklater said. “I like to live in a delusional world, because getting closer to reality depresses me.”

Featured Image: Executive producer Alan Berg speaks with movie-goers following the screening of his documentary Saturday night at the Campus Theatre. Erica Wieting | Features Editor

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