Making Something Out of Nothing: How Richard Linklater Makes Mundanity Exciting

Just hangin’ out is never just hangin’ out.
Dazed And Confused hangout film
Gramercy Pictures
By  · Published on August 10th, 2017

Richard Linklater movies are boring. Hang on a second, let me explain: they’re not boring for us in the audience, they’re boring for the characters, who are constantly just hanging around, shooting the shit, not doing much of anything other than being in the present moment. Slacker, Dazed and Confused, Suburbia, the Before trilogy, Boyhood, Everybody Wants Some – all of these films revolve around people looking for some kind of action amidst the mundanity of their everyday lives, they’re looking to make this slice of their time significant, and whether they succeed or fail, narratively and personally there’s always growth or development, and despite their situations never really changing, the characters do.

This is no small feat of storytelling, and the fact that Linklater has pulled it off not once, not twice, not even three times but in the majority of his films to date is a spellbinding testament to his narrative powers. In the following video from Chris Ashton for Invernie Films, the excitement Linklater conjures from mundanity – specifically in Dazed and Confused – is explored in vivid and fascinating detail. For an additional look in a slightly different vein of the same topic, check out this article from our own Meg Shields.

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