Richard Linklater

Richard Linklater

Active - 1991 - 2023  |   Born - Jul 30, 1960 in Houston, Texas, United States  |   Genres - Drama, Comedy, Sports & Recreation

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Biography by AllMovie

One of the first of the prominent "Generation X" directors, Richard Linklater worked at a variety of odd jobs after leaving Sam Houston University. In the spirit of "film what you know," Linklater aimed his lenses at his home town of Austin, and the result was Slacker (1992), a stylized study of the modern "drop-out" society. The non-professional cast largely improvised its dialogue, which means that, depending upon your perspective, you'll either revel in the characters' insights or scream "Get a life!" Linklater's next film, Dazed and Confused (1993), takes place on the last day of high school in 1976; it has been described by some observers as the American Graffiti of the post-postwar generation. Linklater has not made any effort to aim his films at a mass audience; he's satisfied with screening his wares at international film festivals and at such organizations as his own Austin Film Society. Linklater also directed Before Sunrise (1995), a slick but still very personal film about a pair of disenfranchised young people (Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy) cast adrift in Paris; once more, the festival crowd raved, while "mainstream" critics carped about formlessness and excessive length.

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  • Earned a college baseball scholarship and played for two years before an arrhythmic heart condition ended his baseball career.
  • Left college to work on an offshore oil rig.
  • Is a self-taught filmmaker. 
  • Founded the Austin Film Society in 1985 and serves as its artistic director.
  • Several of his films, including Slacker (1991) and Dazed and Confused (1993), are set in his home state of Texas.
  • Founded Detour Filmproduction (a film-production company based in Austin).
  • In 2006, he became the first director to showcase two films (Fast Food Nation and A Scanner Darkly) at the Cannes Film Festival.
  • The subject of his 2011 film Bernie, convicted murderer Bernie Tiede, was released from prison in 2014; one of the conditions of his release was that he had to live in Linklater's garage apartment.
  • Is a vegetarian.