PRINT Summer 2006


Richard Linklater

LOQUACITY IS Richard Linklater’s métier: Regardless of how much or little action occurs in the course of his films, his characters talk incessantly, sometimes brilliantly, about what flumes up from their brainpans and how they perceive what goes on around them. Their emotional composition defines itself in the timing of cross talk, interruptions, witticisms, asperities, and perfunctory displays of affection. At times, they almost resemble real people, in films like Dazed and Confused (1993) and The School of Rock (2003)—zany people, equipped with one or two signature habits, tics, idiosyncracies.

It may not be all that limiting that Linklater’s people seem generic, in many cases canned, like studio laughter. What comes out of their mouths is unpredictable, and their verbiage creates a particularity that enlarges them, belying the “type” their physicality and surface demeanor suggest.

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