Boyhood - promo shot

Director: Richard Linklater
Writing Credits: Richard Linklater
Cast:  Ellar Coltrane, Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawle, Lorelei Linklater

UK rating: 15 certificate
UK release date: 11th July

Boyhood opens at the Electric Cinema tonight (Fri 18th July) with daily screenings until Thurs 24th July.

4download.php copy.JPGRichard Linklater’s bold production follows, in real time, the growth of Mason Jnr (Coltrane) as he goes from 1st grade (that’s primary school to us) to college – negotiating his parent’s divorce, the onslaught of puberty and all the challenges of family and adolescence.Birmingham Preview / www.birminghamreview.net

Starting as the 6 year old protagonist prepares for a new life in Houston, along with his recently separated mother Olivia (Arquette) and his sister Samantha (Lorelei Linklater), Boyhood watches the world from Mason Jnr’s perspective. As times elapses we are reintroduced at pivotal moments, some larger than others, as the four central characters plot point their way through a 12 year story and the minutia of actual life. Mason Snr (Hawke) drifts in, out and in again, as the family’s formative years are delivered in both sporadic and bite sized chunks.

Not known for a sentimental approach to storytelling, please ignore School of Rock, Linklater reportedly avoids the obvious John Hughes moments – letting Boyhood cement its narrative in an unarguably physical reality. The posters on the wall, the changing soundtracks, the subtle encroach of a 12 year story – witnessed all at once during a 166min sitting.boyhood - older, lr

Reviewing Boyhood’s showcase at the Sundance Film Festival in January this year, for Vulture.com, Kyle Buchannan states ‘Boyhood isn’t the film you’re expecting. It’s intimate and elusive, and the landmarks that usually turn up in most other coming-of-age stories are all but absent here.’

Eric Kohn reporting for IndieWire, again from the Sundance Film Festival, calls Boyhood ‘an entirely fluid work that puts the process of maturity under the microscope and analyyzes its nuamces with remarkable detail.’

Alongside further reviews mirroring the sentiments above and fueling whispers of academy recognition, with the admirable deliveries of his previous productions in the bank, it looks like Linklater has indeed done something to be proud of with Boyhood. Or at least, something worth seeing – if for no other reason than to celebrate the remarkable commitment from IFC Films, the Boyhood financiers. But as Chuck D was so eager to warn us…

To watch the official Boyhood trailer, click here or on the link/image below:

Boyhood – official trailer

Boyhood_film - trailer, lr

On a staggered release across the globe, Boyhood has been out in UK & Ireland cinemas since July 11th and in US & Canadian cinemas from today (July 18th) – with most of the world catching up by the end of September.


Boyhood opens at the Electric Cinema tonight (Fri 18th July) with daily screenings until Thurs 24th July. For more from the Electric Cinema, including show times, directions and full listings, visit https://www.theelectric.co.uk

For more on Boyhood, visit http://boyhoodmovie.tumblr.com/

BPREVIEW: Psycho Live @ Symphony Hall, Weds 9th Apr

JLeigh - smTomorrow evening (April 9th) Birmingham’s Symphony Hall hosts a special screening of Alfred Hitchcock’s seminal thriller, as Psycho Live opens in the city.

Accompanying the film will be the British Sinfonietta playing Bernard Herrmann’s original score – conducted by Anthony Gabriele.Main with web colour bcg - lr

Psycho is lauded in the world of cinematic terror, with the eerie to clandestine, brooding to brutal, soundtrack cited as the turning point in the film’s success.

Even the great director, a man not known for sharing his accolades, declared “33% of the effect of Psycho was due to the music”. Psycho’s screenplay writer, Joseph Stefano, added when I heard it (the score), I nearly fell out of my chair. Hitchcock said the music raised Psycho’s impact 33 percent. It raised it for me by another thirty.”

AHitchcockPerhaps one of Hitchcock’s most referenced endevours, Psycho was originally filmed with a limited score – the pivotal ‘shower scene’ under direct instruction to remain silent. But due to increasing frustration with the delivery of the narrative, Bernard Herrmann secretly composed the screeching knife attack music and presented it to Hitchcock.

The director, who was considering dropping the project, acquiesced, allowing Herrmann to further compliment the narrative with a range of bold and subtle compositions.Film poster

The result was the Psycho the world of cinema celebrates today, and a lasting imprint for the potential of music in film – one so powerful that it arguably ended the Hitchcock/Herrmann collaborations.

For a reminder of Hermann’s score, click here or on the link below:

Psycho - opening credits - sm

Principle conductor for the British Sinfonietta, Anthony Gabriele will tour Psycho Live for two further dates across the UK – the April 9th performance, at the Symphony Hall in Birmingham, being the debut performance.

Currently Musical Director for the international tour of the musical Cats for David Ian Productions, Gabriele has previously held the same role for The Phantom of the Opera, as produced by Cameron Mackintosh Ltd.

AGabrieleAnthony Gabriele has conducted the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Guernsey Camerata Orchestra and British Philharmonic Orchestra, amongst a variety of other prominent international ensembles. He has also held the position of Musical Director for The Really Useful Company, working on their productions of Grease – The Musical and Cats.

Psycho Live comes to Birmingham’s Symphony Hall tomorrow (Weds Apr 9th) for one night only – performed by the British Sinfonietta, conducted by Anthony Gabrielle.

For event info and tickets, visit www.thsh.co.uk

For further listings from the Town & Symphony Halls, visit http://www.thsh.co.uk/event/psycho-live 

For more about the British Sinfonietta, visit http://www.britishsinfonietta.com


Ed’s note…

A genuinely exciting idea.

Butterfly screen break - lr - sm

The marriage of music and image is what makes Psycho so powerful (that and the fact it was relatively based on a real person, Ed Gein); from the punchy strings of the credits, across the wistfully eerie opening cityscape, to the background violin screech of Bates’ schizophrenic end soliloquy… Tension. And steel against skin.

But Marion Crane wasn’t the only victim of Herrmann’s amendments to the ‘shower scene’, and the partnership that arguably began to die once that seminal moment was born, should be honoured. What better place for such an epitaph than the Symphony Hall? Again, a genuinely exciting idea.  Symphony Hall - sm

For me this is also a challenging idea. I’m an increasing fan of many modern composers who often find themselves commissioned for film scores, only leaving me to side step their on screen portfolio in choice of the music they wrote when not tied to another’s creative agenda.

So I’m intrigued, not only to see what the effect of having this performed live is like, but also to explore the machinations that go behind such a production.

NBates - end scene - smJonathan Glen, Birmingham Review’s Film & Classical correspondent, has interviewed Anthony Gabriele and will be writing a feature about the partnership of sound and image. As both editor and enthusiast I look forward to reading his report.

But in the meantime, if you’re going to see/hear Psycho Live, I wish you luck on the way home.

And if anyone ever does the same for either Poltergeist or Jaws… Not. A. Chance.

Ed King is editor of Birmingham Review. Follow him @edking2210