Linklater on time

Linklater has been one of my favorite filmmakers for some time now. From Dazed and Confused to The Before Trilogy, School of Rock to Boyhood, Linklater has always managed to capture youthful enthusiasm in tandem with the human experience of navigating time.

While I’d always enjoyed his films, it wasn’t until I saw Kogonada’s video essay on The Before Trilogy (created just prior to Boyhood‘s release) that Linklater’s genius really struck me.

In a recent interview for The Award Chatter Podcast with Scott Feinberg, Linklater expanded upon his exploration of time:

If you get really close to organic storytelling of all of our lives, they’re all based on time…I always saw it as a structuring device.

How do you count you own life? By events, by your age. You know, we’re all living through our own epic. And I just find time structures more interesting than plot devices.

This is something that’s always fascinated me as well, particularly as I’m someone who might be a “calendar synesthetic.” I’ve always measured time in songs, in colored circles, in stickered notebooks, and creative seasons, both with regard to input and output. The events of life fill in around these things, adding shape and texture to an already colorful spasm of days, weeks, months, and years.

I suppose to hear Linklater discuss how own perception of time with regard to narrative is validating. It reminds me of the scene in Pixar’s Soul, in which one character tells another a joke:

I heard this story about a fish. He swims up to this older fish and says, “I’m trying to find this thing they call the ocean.” “The ocean?” says the older fish. “That’s what you’re in right now.” “This?” says the young fish. “This is water. What I want is the ocean.”

Every so often, it’s nice to engage with a work of art that recognizes the water for the ocean.

Creative wishlist: Linklater makes a film or TV series baed on Jennifer Egan’s A Visit From The Goon Squad.