Walk, Don't Run
Walk, Don't Run
The Cinema of Richard Linklater
This introductory chapter provides a background for a study of Richard Linklater's cinema. Born in 1960 and a self-taught filmmaker, Linklater's cine-literacy and philosophical knowledge has often seen him classified as the most European-minded of the American filmmakers who came to prominence with low-budget features in the 1990s and, partly for this reason, he remains one of those most critical voices of contemporary America. The most dominant theme in his cinema is the employment of the slacker-protagonist, which offers imagination and reflection as alternative priorities to competition and profit. In his emblematic debut film Slacker (1991), he used slacking not as laziness, but as a refusal to engage with the fast-track consumerism and aggressive foreign policy of President Ronald Reagan and George Bush Senior. Another noteworthy characteristic of Linklater's cinema is his deployment of rotoscoping, which involves the tracing and animating of live action footage in order to explicitly represent metaphysical enquiry. This is particularly seen in Waking Life (2001) and A Scanner Darkly (2006).
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