Boyhood, and Manhood…Apparently

So I caught Richard Linklater’s latest film Boyhood today. It was a nice cinematic experience, in that at 37 years of age I was roughly 30 years younger than the average age of my fellow movie enthusiasts. Being the middle of the day on a Friday, the cinema was roughly a third capacity, and I swear there were so many blue-hairs in throng I thought I was at another sequel to Cocoon.

I loved Boyhood. I was a little wary of a film that goes for 166 minutes, but I was confident that with Linklater I was in safe hands. Even his “lesser” films, like the Jack Black vehicle Bernie, was enjoyable to me. Boyhood felt like the father, both spiritually and tonally, of Slacker.

I’ve heartily endorsed the creative output of Richard Linklater before. He makes near-perfect humanist stories. His films feel deeply personal yet amazingly accessible at the same time. There’s no Wes Anderson preciousness to them. Linklater doesn’t seem to hate the world. He merely questions things and provides no answers. I wouldn’t want it any other way.

I am grateful that Richard Linklater provides us with the gift of his talent.

My grandfather died on Wednesday and it has hit me hard. He was 95 years old. We weren’t especially close when he was alive. My grandparents live around two hours south of where I live, and where I grew up. When I was younger, my parents rarely took us down to see them. It just wasn’t something that we did with much regularity. So as a result, I really didn’t know my grandparents very well. They didn’t seem too bothered by this distance. My grandmother loses interest when things don’t revolve around her and my grandfather was a very quiet man. He rarely spoke up and if he did, it was rarely more than a sentence or two. My grandmother was very critical of him and to his face. She would scold him, tell us that she lost her one true love in the war and that she never really loved my grandfather. He would just sit there like nothing happened. She claimed to never love him, yet she had six kids with him and stayed with him for almost seven decades. This is why I despise humanity.

I rolled a tear for my grandfather in the past few days. Someone should. He deserves that much. He lived for nearly a century and the woman that he shared his life with didn’t like him much. Towards the end of his life, my grandparents had to move into a retirement village. My grandmother made a point of ensuring that she was as far away from my grandfather as possible. They resided on opposite ends of the complex. They would meet for meals, and say absolutely nothing to each other. They would stare at their plates. Is this what we have to look forward to? All those fights, all those orgasms, the fussing, the jealousy, the bile, the vomit, the seizures – to get to the end of it all and basically despise each other openly?

I love you Grandad. I wish I told you. Rest in peace beautiful man.