I understand that my headline must sound like second-rate hyperbole. Second-rate I'll cop to. But hyperbole it is not.
After watching Boyhood, I couldn't help but feel like I had approached the film ill-prepared. A longtime Richard Linklater fan with a steady appetite for the sentimental, I was indelibly excited to see at last how the filmmaker had woven 12 years of footage into a vast, sweeping, cohesive story about the very idea of growing up. How such an expansive and ambitious project would materialize with the meticulous attention to theme and character, and the sparkling intellect that we've seen in almost every one of Linklater's pictures to date. But what I learned, and exerted to repeatedly relearn, during my viewing of Boyhood was that this wasn't like any of his films to date, or any other film I'd ever seen. Not necessarily in quality, but form.
Our culture has no shortage of maxims about appreciating the present. We're goaded by movies to smell the roses, seize the day, stop and look around once in a while, swear that we are infinite, and say "what the f**k?" But your standard living-in-the-moment pictures fall shy of their conquest, amounting as little more than a celebration of the occasional high-risk expedition. In earnest, living in the moment isn't a phenomenon limited to excitement; it's one that is just as celebratory of moments like the scenes that comprise Boyhood: We watch preadolescent Mason (Ellar Coltrane) amble aimlessly down a suburban road as his pals tease a mentally disabled teenaged neighbor. Later, he talks with his father (Ethan Hawke) about the logical impossibility of a narrative follow-up to Return of the Jedi. At one point, he and a few peers sip beers and toss hatchets at a slab of plywood.
Nobody gets injured, the abuse of the mentally disabled teen doesn't spawn a series of "life lesson" consequences that teach Mason about compassion, and the Star Wars thing is only funny in extra-movie context. Each and every one of Boyhood's scenes, not these alone, is an entirely present ordeal. They are not brick nor mortar in a lengthy construction process that can only in full view reveal its motives. That's what we look for in movies — that kind of patient build-up, those eventual thematic tie-ins. Means to an end. But Linklater's intention is ready and accessible in every beautiful moment in Boyhood, eager for notice from the get-go as six-year-old Mason drinks in Texas' afternoon sky and daydreams about insects. From the very first moment, the film is "complete."
As such, it might prove difficult at first for a seasoned cinephile to enjoy Boyhood, to even learn how to watch and access a movie of this sort. Operating in contrast to traditional narrative momentum, Boyhood might well throw for a loop anybody approaching with their standard voyeuristic devices in tow. The film is not unsympathetic, nor inattentive, to this conflict; those abetting the "forward" mentality will see themselves in Mason's mom Olivia (Patricia Arquette), a woman inflicted with the same obsession with the "what's next" as we all tend to be. But the only forward pull in this movie is time. We're never "working toward" or "waiting for," instead reveling in the highs (camping trips, kisses, and Harry Potter book release parties), lows (parental spats, breakups, and ), and those everpresent mediums. The "nothing" moments that have more to them than any movie has ever invited us to acknowledge.
Its complete submission to those nothings, mediums, beautiful portraits of life's fabric is what makes Boyhood unprecedented. As such, as suggested above, you might not know what to make of Boyhood the first time around, or even through the first few mental returns to the film that you are destined to venture. It doesn't carry like a normal movie, so you won't experience it like one — you are not likely to experience the cinematic awe you know and respect. You'll experience something altogether new. Boyhood busts through the conventions of cinema to create just that. The fabrics of life onscreen. Once you hit that appreciation, however long it may take, you're paralyzed by something that we'd be remiss to relegate to the term "magic." This, like life itself, is a damn miracle.
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Cult Swedish star Lykke Li is technically homeless after spending her time crashing at friends' places around the world.
The singer reveals she has been staying with pals because she has yet to buy her own place, but she plans to establish a more settled life once she wraps up her 2014 tour commitments. She tells Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper, "I have bags all over the world that I'll probably never see again."
However, Li admits she is having a little trouble deciding where she wants to set down roots. She adds, "For me that's been a big problem: where should my home be? I've neglected that question my whole life."
The perfect home isn't the only thing Li covets - she would love to start a family, too, although she is not so sure about the idea of marriage. She says, "My dream is to live on a ranch and have a family and a garden and kids and lots of instruments. I want to create a beautiful atmosphere and a beautiful childhood..."
"I'm not opposed to marriage - it's never been something that I've dreamt of. I'm pretty shy when it comes to big crowds. I wouldn't want to have a big wedding, and bureaucracy freaks me out. I want to live an uncomplicated life."
Warner Bros via Everett Collection
J.K. Rowling has sent Harry Potter fans into a spin by posting a story update online.
The author posted a 1,500-word article on her Pottermore.com website to give readers a glimpse into the adult lives of the main characters. Written in the style of a newspaper article by fictional journalist Rita Skeeter, the piece focuses on the grown-up goings-on of Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, played by Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson in the film franchise.
Rowling tells fans her title character is in his 30s and has a "couple of threads of silver" in his black hair, while Granger is now Deputy Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. Grint's character works at his brothers' company Weasley's Wizard Wheezes and his red hair is "thinning".
The article reveals Potter is married to his best friend's sister, Ginny Weasley, who is a journalist, and gives fans updates on their pals Neville Longbottom and Luna Lovegood.
The publication of the short story comes after it was revealed that Potter spin-off Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is to be filmed at the Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden site in England, where all the wizard movies were shot.
The final book in the Potter series was released in 2007, while the last film hit cinemas in 2011.
British rappers Lethal Bizzle and Tinchy Stryder have paid tribute to Ghanaian hip-hop star Castro, who is presumed dead following a weekend (05-06Jul14) jet ski accident. The musician, real name Theophilus Tagoe, had been on vacation with a group of pals, including his girlfriend Janet Bandu and Ghanaian soccer ace Asamoah Gyan, near the coastal town of Ada.
They hired jet skis from the local Aqua Safari Resort on Saturday (05Jul14), but tragedy struck after Bandu fell off the back of Castro's water vehicle. The rapper jumped into the water to rescue her, but neither of them resurfaced.
Police have yet to recover Castro or Bandu's bodies, but tributes for the musician have already started to roll in on Twitter.com.
Lethal Bizzle writes, "My favourite Ghanaian artist #RIPCastro", while Tinchy Styder adds, "My thoughts go out to Castro, his friends & family! Words can't even explain the shock I got when I heard the news! You're with the angels!"
Former Saturday Night Live comedians Amy Poehler and Seth Meyers reunited on Saturday (05Jul14) as they celebrated the nuptials of ex-show writer/actor John Mulaney in Boiceville, New York. The old pals were among the guests at the Onteora Mountain House, where Mulaney tied the knot with his make-up artist fiancee Annemarie Tendler.
Singer/songwriter John Mayer is reportedly pitching a new reality TV show about budding neighbourhood comedians to U.S. network bosses. Sources tell Us Weekly magazine that Mayer is the brains behind My Funny Friend, which offers people the chance to nominate pals for a top comedy award and exposure.
An insider tells the publication, "His concept is: Everyone thinks they have a buddy who's so hysterical, he or she should be in comedy. So people nominate their friends, and they go through a series of evaluations to determine if they're actually funny or not.
"John thinks it has a great human-interest angle... It's a show about dreams."
Mayer, who has hit the stage as a stand-up comedian to mixed reviews, even has a dream host in mind for the series - celebrity chef, travel expert and TV personality Anthony Bourdain.
Actor Alexander Skarsgard has praised his The East co-star Ellen Page for 'coming out' as gay, insisting she has become an inspiration to other young women. The 27-year-old actress made the revelation in a speech at the Human Rights Campaign's Time To THRIVE conference in Las Vegas in February (14), sparking a wave of supportive messages from her Hollywood pals.
Now Skarsgard, who was wrongly rumoured to be dating Page after they met on the set of the 2013 thriller, has spoken out to congratulate her for taking the brave step.
He tells British Glamour magazine, "I'm extremely proud of her for being so strong and coming out and helping other young girls and guys out there. She's a great inspiration for other people. And the way she did it was so eloquent, so well spoken and she's so intelligent."
Six previously unheard recordings by late British singer/songwriter Nick Drake are expected to fetch at least $425,000 (£250,000) at auction. Fellow folk star Beverley Martyn reveals the tapes are in "pristine" condition, despite being recorded 46 years ago. The tracks, including versions of Fruit Tree and Cello Song, were made months before the 1969 release of Drake's debut album Five Leaves Left.
She tells Independent.co.uk, "He was young, he sounds full of fun, he sounds light and his guitar playing is absolutely excellent. It really shows that he didn't need to have this whole layer cake of strings."
Martyn claims she decided to sell off the tapes due to her own failing health, adding, "Someone else should be able to enjoy it."
The memorabilia will go under the hammer at London auction house Ted Owen and Company on 31 July (14).
News of the auction emerges three months after Martyn shared another of Drake's unheard compositions, a duet between the pals, titled Restless Jane. It was included on her album The Turtle And The Phoenix.
Drake was just 26 when he committed suicide in 1974.
Gwyneth Paltrow has launched a new initiative to find the best food truck in Los Angeles. The actress is a big fan of Los Angeles' mobile catering culture, and admits she's often asked to recommend a meals of wheels service, so she has started hitting the streets with pals to chow down on global cuisine served with a plastic fork.
Posting photos of herself dining out in Venice, California on a recent Friday night on her weekly blog goop.com, Paltrow, who is famous for her love of raw food and vegan diets, writes, "Food trucks are a staple of L.A.'s cultural identity. While they may be popping up in every major city across the world, it all started in Los Angeles. More specifically, it started with the Mexican food trucks that drove to construction sites, until the concept was revolutionized by Roy Choi and his Kogi truck, where he invented a hybrid of Korean and Mexican deliciousness (think kimchi on tacos instead of salsa).
"The Kogi truck begat more foodie trucks, and now they are everywhere, roaming every neighborhood across the city. No one seemed to know which in L.A. are the best. We were asked a few times, and couldn't give a proper list of recommendations.
"So most of the goop team hit Abbot Kinney - a long boulevard in Venice - where, on the first Friday of every month, many of L.A.'s finest food trucks congregate. We asked some of our friends with the most discerning palettes to join us, and set out to make the L.A. food truck guide, hitting more than 40 trucks, and eating our way through 50+ meals in the process."
New mum Ciara has given fans a sneak peek at what she may look like on her wedding day by posing in various designer gowns for America's Brides magazine.
The Goodies hitmaker, who is engaged to wed rapper Future, features on the cover of the new August/September (14) issue wearing an embroidered Chantilly lace Reem Acra gown with sheer sleeves, while she also plays dress up in other shots by trying on designs from coveted fashion gurus Tara LaTour and Mark Zunzino.
In the accompanying article, the singer admits her nuptials will be "indoors and black tie", although she has yet to reveal which designer she has chosen for her big day. However, she has clear ideas for the colour palette, insisting, "I'm not into loud colours. I like black and white, classic and clean."
She has also shared details about her bridal party, revealing her close friend, TV personality LaLa Anthony, will be a matron of honour and adding, "There will be five or six (bridesmaids) and two matrons of honour. They'll all wear the same colour, but in different styles to suit their personalities. I want my ladies to look amazing!"
And Ciara wants to make sure guests will dance the night away by recruiting some of her famous pals to perform. She adds, "A few of our friends will sing. We'll have a great DJ - good old soul mixed with new stuff. You want people to say, 'This is my jam!'"
Ciara and Future, who welcomed baby Future Zahir in May (14), became engaged in October (13) and are expected to tie the knot in the coming months.
The story, set in Los Angeles, follows the adventures of two brothers-in-law: the stolid Harry Miller, and the impetutous Frank Greene. In the pilot episode, Harry and Frank travel to Mexico to buy a gift for Frank's wedding anniversary and end up incarcerated for stealing a chicken and destroying religious artifacts.