The List

The It's Nice That team's favourite scenes from Richard Linklater's films

Posted by Liv Siddall,

Richard Linklater’s epic 12-years-in-the-making film Boyhood is released in the UK tomorrow, and the It’s Nice That team joins film lovers everywhere in being incredibly excited about the prospect of such a groundbreaking cinematic effort. We’re all long Linklater fans, so we thought we’d make a List feature about our personal favourite scenes from his varied and rather prolific back-catalogue. Any you think we’ve missed out (and that will be a lot, as there are only four of us) just get in touch via Twitter

Julie Delpy's song to Ethan Hawke in Before Sunset (2004)

Liv Siddall

Like Boyhood, Linklater’s trilogy Before Sunrise, Before Sunset and Before Midnight was created over the period of 18 years using actors Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke. The first was a cult movie about two young travellers meeting in Europe on a train and spending a romantic night together talking about life and its ups and downs. This scene from the follow-up made me and my sister weep like babies – French actress Julie Delpy singing to an older and slightly less saucy Ethan Hawke. It’s a beautiful love song and a great example of Linklater taking advantage of the actors’ skills (Delpy is a singer songwriter) and shoehorning them into a film. Nice!

Weird trip scene from a Scanner Darkly

Madeleine Morley

It’s very difficult to adapt a Philip K. Dick novel for the screen, and like Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner, Richard Linklater has made a dream-like and fragmented response to the text instead of attempting to copy the science-fiction masterpiece word-for-word. The abstract result is therefore more in keeping with Dick’s world in terms of atmosphere. To pinpoint a specific best scene in this languorous film is about as difficult as working out who’s behind the mask of a scramble suit, because in many ways, the whole thing feels like one big, slowly unfurling scene. This moment of paranoia, though, is particularly pertinent, and the clip will show you that Linklater’s movies have the power to blow your mind away, quite literally.

Matthew McConaughey's infamous quote in Dazed and Confused

James Cartwright

I must’ve watched Dazed and Confused about 20 times in my life – initially when I was too young to understand most of what was going on, then as a teenager feeling like I could relate to all those frustrated characters, and then repeatedly until the present day. Now it just reminds me how incredibly liberating it felt to have six weeks to do whatever the hell you liked every summer, preoccupied with planning crappy house parties and meeting up to stand around outside bars trying desperately to get served underage. This scene exemplifies that feeling perfectly, although we never had a creepy twenty something hanging around with us, or a selection of macho cars to rag around town with. “Alright, alright alright!”

Jack Black performs The Legend of the Rent in front of the class in School of Rock

Maisie Skidmore

Sure, Richard Linklater directed loads of trendy cult films. Fine, he’s a pro with a Super 8 and a god of the independent film world. Can we overlook all of that for just one minute to reflect on his greatest masterpiece of all, The School of Rock? The film was inspired by the 1976 Langley Schools Music Project, in which Canadian music teacher Hans Fenger made a series of recordings of students singing hits by The Beach Boys, Paul McCartney and David Bowie. It basically sees giant bum and best person ever Jack Black take on a gig as substitute teacher Dewey Finn, and transform his students into the baddest rock band ever formed. Here’s The Legend of the Rent, a prime a cappella performance by Dewey and just one reason for you to spend the next 20 minutes of your working day rewatching clips from the film on YouTube.


Posted by Liv Siddall

Liv joined It’s Nice That as an intern in 2011 and is now one of our editors. She oversees and has a particular interest in illustration, photography and music videos. She is also a regular guest and sometime host on our Studio Audience podcast.

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