SXSW: The Raid 2 Loses A Battle, But Boyhood Blows Us Away

By Sean O'Connell 2 years agodiscussion comments
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Precious few human opponents can stop Rama, the tireless and indestructible cop played by Iko Uwais in Gareth Evansí The Raid and its pending sequel. But significant technical difficulties stopped Rama in his tracks at the South By Southwest Film Festival on Sunday night, disrupting Evansí triumphant return to a theater he owned when The Raid played SXSW a few years back.

What happened? I explain in our latest video blog filed from Austin and shared with you above.


Richard Linklaterís Boyhood, on the other hand, went off without a hitch earlier in the day on Sunday, and captivated the Paramount audience with the audacity of its accomplishments.

For those who might not be aware, Linklater filmed his ambitious Boyhood over the course of 12 years, following actors playing characters as they aged, grew and matured (and as you know, all three of those donít always happen simultaneously). Itís a staggering project, one that Linklater completes with an astonishing seamlessness. There are so many things that could have gone wrong with Boyhood. Actors could have lost interest. Schedules could have ruined continuity. I spent most of Boyhood marveling at the technical hurdles Linklater overcame to bring the movie to theaters.

The story isnít deep. There isnít a long-game plot arc keeping us passionately invested in Boyhood. Characters come and go, leaving lasting impressions with their actions and decisions. But Linklaterís unique approach allows us to grow attached to the characters played by Ethan Hawke, Patricia Arquette and the young actors cast as their children Ė Ellar Coltraine and Linklaterís own daughter, Lorelei.

Boyhood doesnít peddle in big-screen drama, unfolding at the pace of our own recognizable existences. It tracks Coltraineís journey from kindergarten to college, staging several universal milestones in the life of an average child, from the heartbreaks to the moments of brief elation. And it reeks of the collaborative DNA of Linklaterís more-introspective Before trilogy. But itís a stunning achievement, and unlike anything you have ever seen (or likely will see again).
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