The end of this month sees the release of Before Midnight, Richard Linklater’s third installment in the ‘before..’ trilogy. Bram Welch gives us his opinions on the director’s five greatest movies…
5. School Of Rock
A cathartic piece that see’s kids placed in a world outside of mainstream culture find clarity through the beautiful art of rock music. The film is both funny and poignant as lead actor, Jack Black plays a unemployable guitarist who helps young school children find their place in the world. It’s irreverence is never too far but far enough for viewers of all ages to feel anarchic.
4. Dazed And Confused
Directed and penned by Linklater , Dazed and Confused takes a look at youth culture from an era gone by. Set in 1976 the film follows a group of Texan high schoolers on their last day of the academic year. The students are portrayed by an excellent ensemble cast including Matthew McConaughey, Ben Affleck and Milla Jovovich. Hindsight helps to provide many laughs, after all what else can you do about the 70s. The film does not look back with purely rose tinted glasses but is also affectionate. Despite a poor return to at the box office the film has gone on to gain cult status and stands as the film that really established Linklater as a name.
Linklater and Black seem to be a dream pairing. Well he knows how to get the best out of the comic actor that’s for sure. Jack Black’s career defining portrayal of assistant funeral director, Bernie is one which was sadly overlooked by many award bodies but one which will live long in the memory of fans.
It took the film almost a year to reach our humble shores but it was well worth the wait. A combination of dark comedy, documentary and mockumentary provided us with a film that left questions in exactly the right way. Was Bernie innocent and if he wasn’t should he be forgiven? A touching and often morally ambiguous feature, this is Linklater and Black at their best.
Bernie is currently showing in limited cinemas around the UK
2. Before Sunset
Before Sunset could easily be joint top with it’s predecessor. It is a sequel that is by no means forced and fluently progresses on the original. The film follows the couple, Jesse & Celine, 9 years later as they take a picturesque stroll round Paris, delving into their lives, relationships and lingering feelings for one another. The sequel develops their relationship and yet manages to maintain the pure nature of their love.
1. Before Sunrise
Sometimes the most important moments of connection are the shortest. Before Sunrise is set over a 24 hour period that introduces us to Jesse & Celine from their original meeting on a train. We see them explore the city of Vienna, each other and love. Linklaters 1995 film is sentimental but not gushy, pure but not innocent, and cataclysmic but certainly not a mishap. It stands as a strong contender for the most romantic film ever made.
You can buy Before Sunrise here:
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