Linklater’s films aren’t story-driven. They are not character-driven either.
They are emotion-driven.
From the very first time I sat in the cinema to see Before Sunrise I knew one thing: I wanted to live in Linklater’s films no matter what.
No matter how bad an argument turns. No matter how painful childhood can be. No matter how crazy the amounts of alcohol and drugs become.
I wanted to live in his films.
Everything passes, but the moments last. The moments last in our memories.
Often idealised, sometimes not the way they actually happened. But always, always filled with true emotions.
There is a risk Linklater takes with every single film he makes. It might turn out to be over-sentimental. It’s easy to accuse him of having a single view on growing up. It’s easy to accuse him of directing only the average lives and ignoring the tragic ones. It’s easy to accuse him of being a white male. His characters are mainly white. His stories are all about the middle class.
But saying all of these things would be just too easy and it would take back what makes Linklater the master of indie cinema. His films are true and no matter who you are and where you have been, you can identify with the awe one feels coming-of age. The awe of the new, the awe of the unexperience, the awe of hope.
‘Everybody Wants Some!!’ is his new film and probably my third favourite of his yet (unless we count Before Sunrise, Sunset and Midnight as one, then it comes second). It feels like a continuation of his early feature, Dazed and Confused mixed with Boyhood, but in my eyes, it’s much better than both of them taken together. Although I liked Boyhood, I felt that the time span didn’t allow Linklater to do what he does best – focus on a moment. And although he had been successful in portraying the little things that build one’s childhood, ‘Everybody Wants Some!!’is made of these things.
There is no story as such. It’s an impression of college, as seen from perspective of a much older director. The distance is almost invisible at first. We are thrown into the lives of young guys playing baseball, going to college and most importantly, trying to get laid. But here, the Linklater’s magic happens – after we leave the cinema, our cheeks burning with all the emotions we have experienced – because the film isn’t a film, it’s an experience – we realise that it was a little too perfect. Just like our own memories of those days.
Of course the majority was sitting in the class and trying not to fall asleep, but Linklater ends his film on that leaving us little suffering of an everyday college life. Instead, he focuses on all the goods, or rather, on all the goods we remember. Like us, Linklater idealises the past but this is exactly what makes ‘Everybody Wants Some!!’ so different from every other coming-of-age film I’ve seen. It captures our memories of these moments and turns them into reality.
I can’t recommend it enough. I loved it, I love it and I will love it again and again as I plan on seeing it regularly when it comes out. I promise you, you want some, too.