“Boyhood” – The flow of life

The film Boyhood (2014) directed by Richard Linklater is a very special film, because the filming takes 12 consecutive years (the filming time is less than a week) with the same cast.

Richard Linklater is one of the most notable directors of the twentieth century, a director known for his use of genuine dialogue to tell rustic, informal stories with characters full of personality. and has a very real life. Linklater has achieved certain successes in his filmmaking career. For example, such works as Dazed and Confused, Slacker, Waking Sky (with the theme of real dreams – lucid dream), the movie trilogy Before. Each work has its own mark of Linklater, has a large number of fans, especially for those who have a habit of contemplating the changes in the flow of life.
In 2002, Richard Linklater decided to do a twelve-year project, this star called Boyhood. The film follows the life of a boy from age six through eighteen, using the same actors from 2002 to 2013 to show everyday life scenes corresponding to the time in the film. Boyhood is one of the most ambitious projects in film history, similar to the ITV documentary series Up that tells the lives of 14 children in the UK since 1964 (Seven Up!), Every 7 one-episode year with the latest season being 2019 – 63 Up; or in Japan, the series Snow Melting season lasted 21 years, from 1981 to 2002.

Linklater was always reckless, but consistent in his decisions. He made sure and carefully calculated the specific costs and times of filming the footage over the years to avoid interference that occurred during those twelve years. The cast did not sign a formal contract because, according to De Havilland law, an employment contract cannot last more than 7 years. Even Linklater and Ethan Hawke (playing the father in the movie) signed a contract that if something goes wrong with him, Hawke will be the director to continue the project. Mason’s protagonist Ellar Coltrane has also been carefully selected for his personality, appearance and especially his natural acting ability to be the most deserving candidate for more than a decade. Childhood life in Austin, Texas, USA.

The Boyhood was shot using a 35mm lens to create consistency throughout the film’s phases, but each scene has a unique quality to recognize what year it is. The events and objects appearing in the film easily show us a panoramic view of society at that time; technological changes, political situation, especially cultural trends. But the most important thing is the transformation of the characters. Only when we grasp the characters’ psychology and slowly change their position through an objective perspective, can we see the depth of soul.
Throughout life, people are always looking for something, always have a certain destination that we set and consider it as our only reason of life. Our biggest mistake is not knowing how to slow down, to cherish each moment like gold, giving meaning to each passing moment. That is also Linklater’s point of view when performing Boyhood: Human life is a collection of sad moments, happy moments, love moments, hate moments. But it was also strangely flat. For some, Boyhood may be a boring piece because it is not a movie with dramatic details. On the contrary, for audiences who really care about the characters in the film, the tempo of the film is always kept at a stable level; not too fast or too slow.

Each stage over the years has a certain silence for viewers to contemplate. Viewers are brought into Mason’s worldview, following in his footsteps from day one to school, and meeting new friends, events in life. The first time he knew what it meant to be love, what it meant to be angry, what it meant to stumble and to despair. We see for the first time Mason has feelings for the opposite sex. We see wrinkles gradually appear on the faces of parents. We see Mason’s temper change. We see the world around Mason changing, with people coming and going in life.

The filmmaking philosophy of Linklater’s life in Boyhood is closer to that of the late Japanese director Yasujiro Ozu than ever. Quiet scenes like oil paintings in both Boyhood and Ozu classics such as Tokyo Story, Early Summer are at first bored, but they are stepping stones for viewers to contemplate and contemplate; it is the innocent silence in the emotional flow of the film in each moment, exist only to exist, in the entire beauty of eternal purity.

“I capture the moment, but the moment also captures me.”

Until now, life and cinema have always reflected each other, always complement each other. Boyhood is on the line between them: It’s a man’s life through lenses. Twelve years of his life were like a breeze. Twelve years ago, Ellar Coltrane (and the rest of the crew) really grew up with the character. At the end of the film, Mason was mature enough to choose his direction in life and make decisions for himself; He has found a passion for photography and has moved to the next page of his life with his first steps in building relationships in a more mature environment.

Boyhood has received various film awards, large and small, including the BAFTA award for best film, the Oscar for best supporting actress, and the Golden Globe award for best drama. Boyhood is no longer just a movie, but an experience everyone needs at least once in life. It is contemplation, watching each picture passing by in life using art to adorn the moments that seem like nothing special and extraordinarily precious.

In the movie, it wasn’t just Mason and his sister who grew up, but Mason’s two parents grew up over time. At the beginning of the film, both Mason’s mom and dad are like grown-ups, they fall in love in a hurry and then die. Especially as the mother of actress Patricia Arquette, she played the role of a loving mother, an outstanding independent woman. Resilient life, alone raising her children, taking private tutoring and becoming a teacher of a university, she is like a strong and tough “man”. But only when she saw her son leave home to go to college without any regrets, she burst into tears thinking that her life should have been more than unhappy marriages or bills. monthly payment. Perhaps it is the most touching scene in the film, it is like the everyday reality of life, parents love and embrace their children from birth, when they are full of feathers, they will walk on his own and will not need his parents anymore.

It can be said that Boyhood is a movie for all ages, it’s simple and simple but also very profound. Doesn’t follow the normal filmmaking formula, which means it doesn’t force viewers to think in a certain way and mechanically. It simply gathers the most beautiful and impressive moments in the adult stage of a boy, thereby allowing viewers to feel and self-learn the meaning of those moments. Boyhood is a movie suitable to watch with family, through which we can re-examine the relationship between us and everyone around us, to understand more about feeling life through emotions and facts. Would rather be very important. The soundtrack is also a notable feature of the film, it brings a sense of nostalgia when reminiscent of the famous songs of the 2000s.

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