Richard Linklater

“Making your own life fodder for your own art… there’s something very fundamental about that. You have to make that leap mentally and think, I’m going to go down this path and not worry about how it affects everyone. I care about what I’m expressing here. It’s not with bitterness. Not every film I do comes from the absolute truth, but you personalize that. A good story can come from everywhere.

-Richard Linklater, episode 373 of Talk Easy with Sam Fragoso

Director Richard Linklater has made a career out of telling personal stories with universal appeal. Dazed and Confused, Waking Life, the Before trilogy, Boyhood. No matter the genre or form, Linklater’s human touch remains.

He joins us this week around the release of his latest film, Hit Man (7:36), an action-packed neo-noir (9:15) that also explores the malleability of identity (12:00). Then, Linklater reflects on his athletic career in college (18:20), the health scare that ushered in a period of creative exploration (19:48), and the renegade spirit that drove his first two feature films, It’s Impossible to Learn to Plow by Reading Books and Slacker (29:12).

On the back-half, Linklater describes a formative Sundance memory with director Robert Altman (36:00), his first experience at the helm of a major motion picture (39:48), and the lived serendipity that inspired his Before films (54:22). To close: a Hollywood state of the union (1:02:54), why Richard continues to create art from the fabric of his life (1:10:00), and whether Sam should return to directing himself (1:19:36).

You can watch Sam’s directorial work here, including his short film Sebastian.

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