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Weird confession: when I was very young, I used to think that all movies with childhood-set flashback sequences actually used footage that was filmed when the actor playing the older version of the character was a little kid. Eventually I figured out that the studios would just hire lookalike child actors for these kinds of scenes, but still I always wondered what it would be like for a movie to shoot for years and years and actually watch its subjects grow to their character's appropriate ages. Evidently I wasn't alone in this thinking, because director Richard Linklater is now ready to release Boyhood, a film put together over the course of 12 years with that very idea behind its production.
IFC Films has debuted the first look at Boyhood, which saw its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, and just this trailer alone is an absolute marvel. Even ignoring the fact that "Hero" by Family of the Year is a perfect song for establishing the tone of the movie, it's simply amazing to watch the cast of characters grow and evolve. If you pay enough attention to each of the actors in the spot you'll notice that each one of them definitely undergoing various physical changes over the course of the many-years-long story.
Based on an original script by Linklater, Boyhood began production all the way back in the summer of 2002 and tells the story of a young boy named Mason (Ellar Coltrane) as he grows up, starting when he is just seven. Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette star as Mason Sr. and Olivia, Mason's parents, while Lorelei Linklater (the writer/director's daughter) stars as Samantha, Mason's sister. The film covers all kinds of various ground that audiences may remember from their own childhoods, from long roadtrips to birthdays to graduations.
While Arquette's only previous collaboration with Linklater was the 2006 comedy Fast Food Nation, Boyhood actually marks the ninth time that Linklater and Hawke have worked together as director and actor, with the previous titles being Before Sunrise, SubUrbia, The Newton Boys, Waking Life, Tape, Before Sunset, Fast Food Nation, and Before Midnight. The two men have been working together so long, in fact, that the tenure of their relationship almost puts the time span of Boyhood to shame.
Since its Sundance premiere, Boyhood has also had screenings at the Berlin International Film Festival, SXSW, and both the Minneapolis-St. Paul and San Francisco international film festivals, but it will soon be making its way to a theater near you. Serving as a bit of counter-programming to the large number of big summer blockbusters coming out over the next few months, Linklater's latest will be released by IFC Films on July 11th.