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Richard Linklater

Richard Linklater smiles in front of a pink and blue background (credit: Getty for Imdb)Born July 30, 1960 in Houston, Texas, Richard Stuart Linklater is a director, screenwriter and producer. The filmmaker initially attended Sam Houston State University, but he then suspended his studies to work on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico. There, he started watching movies. In 1987, he moved to Austin and directed his attention to filmmaking. First, he founded the Austin Film Society; then, he made his first film: It’s Impossible to Learn to Plow by Reading Books (1988). But It’s his second movie, however, that became a festival hit: Slacker (1990) was an audience favorite from the moment it had its World premiere at Sundance, establishing Linklater’s trademarks and style.

Soon, Richard Linklater became known in the independent film circuit, and went on to release more acclaimed films. In 1993, he made Dazed and Confused, starring Matthew McConaughey in an iconic, breakout role. Then came Before Sunrise – the first film in the Before Trilogy – which earned him the Silver Bear for Best Director at the 1995 Berlinale. In the 2000s, Linklater became even more widely known, releasing a blend of highly philosophical rotoscope indie features (Waking Life, A Scanner Darkly) and crowdpleasers. Among the latter is the phenomenon that was School of Rock, where Jack Black plays a slacker-turned teacher.

As well as concluding the Before trilogy with Before Sunset (2004) and Before Midnight (2013), Richard Linklater also released more commercial hits, such as Boyhood (2014) and Everybody Wants Some!! (2016). His most recent releases include Where’d You Go, Bernadette and Apollo 10½: A Space Age Childhood, which got mixed reviews, and the highly acclaimed Hit Man (2024). He is currently working on a variety of projects, including a John Brinkley biopic, a film about the production of Godards’s Breathless (Nouvelle Vague), and Merrily We Roll Along, a comedy musical about a composer starring Paul Mescal and Ben Platt.

All of Linklater’s films, including his most commercial movies, are highly philosophical. They often take place in his native State of Texas and unfold within a limited time frame – or even, at times, a single day. He also often casts the same actors: frequent collaborators include Ethan Hawke, Glen Powell, and Zoey Deutch. Through seemingly ordinary, everyday situations, Linklater has us thinking about life’s biggest questions, which makes his films not only immersive and authentic, but also haunting and thought-provoking. He often explores themes of time, reality, free will, and the meaning of life, and he also excels at crafting comedy.

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