The trailer of Richard Linklater’s Everybody Wants Some is out and it looks like a breezy comedy about some 80s baseball obsessed American college kids. But can we expect it to be just another comedy? Surely Linklater will not be limited to that!
Over the years, Linklater has become the master of time on celluloid. Most have films have experimented temporally. For instance the entire Before Sunrise (1995), Before Sunset (2004) and Before Midnight (2013) series follows the same template where the events take place within 24 hours. However, all three films, starring the same actors, are made after a decade each, showing actual ageing and changes in the actors, both physically and psychologically.
He takes this fascination with extremely realistic depiction of passage of time to a whole new level through Boyhood (2014) which was made over a period of more than a decade and showed a young boy growing up and reaching his teens. Instead of using different actors to depict different ages, he choose to wait and shoot potions of the film after long gaps and even casts his own daughter as the protagonists sister who also goes through a similar transition.
All these films are not mere simplistic bildungsroman but much deeper explorations of the very nature of our life and existence. He pushed his range further with two films, namely Walking Life and a Scanner Darkly, where he experimented with technology too apart from the narrative.
Walking Life used the animation technique called Rotoscoping but combined that with footages of real actors to create bizarre visuals that went well with his themes of lucid dreaming and existential pondering. He continued to experiment with this technique later with the film called A Scanner Darkly, P K Dick classic. It was a complex dystopian tale dealing in a future where the law enforcement indulges in terrifyingly intrusive surveillance using powerful drug induced hallucinations.
Apart from these, Linklater has also successfully experimented with more generic films such as School of Rock (2003), another high school drama, Me and Orson Welles (2008), a period romantic drama and Bernie (2011), a dark comedy, without ever struggling with such diverse themes. In that sense Linklater is probably the most versatile Hollywood director in terms of range after Kubrick.
Considering these films, his earliest films seem like a distant past now. A more matured Linklater is now expected to add more depth into the film even if he is tackling similar topics. Everybody Wants Some is being touted as the spiritual successor of Dazed and Confused by many. The former was about 70s high school kids while this is about the 80s college kids. So, in that sense it also maintains Linklater’s tradition of telling interconnected stories spread over years and even decades.
Dazed and Confused starred many unknown actors who went on to become major stars later on such as Matthew McConaughey, Ben Affleck and Milla Jovovich etc. Everybody Wants Some also stars largely unknown actors. Will they achieve similar stardom after this film? We cannot wait to find out! Till then just watch the trailer.