Creator / Richard Linklater
Rick's feelin' a little Dazed and Confused...
Richard Stuart Linklater (born July 30, 1960) is an American filmmaker based out of Austin, Texas. He is, along with Steven Soderbergh and Kevin Smith, considered one of the most important figures in American Independent Film. His career began with Slacker, a very low-budget ensemble film about twenty-something misfits in Austin. The film was met with critical acclaim, and Kevin Smith says it was what inspired him to make Clerks. His second film, Dazed and Confused is a cult classic and equally acclaimed. From there, his career is, to say the least, eclectic. He's done two experimental animated films (Waking Life and A Scanner Darkly), studio comedies (School of Rock, Bad News Bears), smaller Indie movies (Fast Food Nation, Before Sunrise and Before Sunset), and an ambitious project called Boyhood, which was filmed over a period of over 10 years, detailing one young man's childhood from elementary school to high school graduation, with each grade's story being written and shot over a few weeks each year until the project was completed.


Common tropes:

  • Acclaimed Flop: With the exception of School of Rock and Boyhood, nearly all his films’ financial successes range from mediocre to outright bombs. Despite this, they’re almost always praised by critics and audiences.
  • Author Appeal: Linklater derived his style from My Dinner with Andre, a film of which he is a major fan.
  • Author Tract: One of the complaints he got for Fast Food Nation was changing the theme of the book from a critique of the fast food industry to one long tract against eating meat.
  • Benevolent Boss: By all accounts, Rick is an easygoing, relaxed director who works with his actors to better their performances and characters.
  • Breakthrough Hit: For cinephiles, Dazed and Confused. For mainstream audiences, School of Rock.
  • Career Resurrection: After Fast Food Nation both bombed and got flak for changing the message of the book, and Me and Orson Welles was barely released, Bernie received critical acclaim and Before Midnight was named the A.V. Club’s best film of 2013 and got nominated for an Oscar. Now Boyhood is being almost universally praised, with some even calling it a modern classic.
  • Contemplate Our Navels
  • Creator Provincialism: He’s from Texas, and a good chunk of his movies are either set or shot there.
  • Everything Is Big in Texas: Averted. Since he's born, raised and currently lives in Texas, he presents a very realistic look at the state.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: Slacker, Dazed and Confused and Before Sunrise. It's something of a trademark.
  • The Film of the Book: The Newton Boys, A Scanner Darkly, Fast Food Nation and Me and Orson Wells. Bernie is a subversion as it was based off a series of newspaper columns.
  • Granola Guy: He's vegetarian.
  • The Oner
  • Production Posse: His films usually star Ethan Hawke or Matthew McConaughey, Sandra Adair will edit and Graham Reynolds will compose.
  • Random Events Plot
  • Rotoscoping: Waking Life and A Scanner Darkly use this.
  • Scenery Porn
  • Signature Style: Characters having Seinfeldian Conversations and movies with timeframes that usually span about 24 hours.
    • Averted big time with his most recent film, Boyhood, which takes place (and was filmed) over 12 years.
  • Seinfeldian Conversation: A lot of Rick's films have them.
  • Taught by Experience: He never went to film school. He taught himself how to make movies by simply making them.