adolescence tagged posts

It’s Life, Just Life: Richard Linklater’s “Boyhood”

Nothing much happens in Richard Linklater’s finely wrought film, Boyhood. No stabbings or shootings, no kidnaps or car wrecks designed to set the protagonists’ lives on a post-crisis course and get audience members’ guts churning. Linklater disdains virtually every conventional narrative technique out of Film 101’s playbook, going light on the trauma and minimalist on conflict.

And what he winds up with is one of the most absorbing movies in years.

Boyhood’s two hours and forty-four minutes of running time effortlessly depicts multiple lives as they play out over an actual nearly 12-year-span in various Texas locales. Meaning Linklater followed a real-life rather than movie calendar in assembling his main actors on an intermittent shooting schedule between the years 2002 and 2013.

It’s a daring and brilliant device, allowing us to watch the actors literally age in front of our eyes, sans elaborate ...

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The Ominous Mystique and Allure of Alleys

Every inveterate walker of cities knows the allure of alleys. Dark, narrow and often damp, they tend to house trash bins, rats and worse, exposing the corroded back walls of homes or business establishments whose front entrances gleam with respectability.

Alleys are as old as ancient Pompeii and Rome, where they served as servant entrances and thoroughfare for service delivery persons whose presence might upset the careful social mannerisms attendant to the front door.

Alleys come alive for me every time I visit a different city and set about the walking that will help orient me to its gridlines, smells and bustle. I can’t help but stop and pause at nearly every alley I come across, noting its length and width, its doorways and bins, its daytime shadows and night time lights (or lack thereof).

Alleys are rarely wide and thus often dark and at least a tad ominous...

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