A Boyhood Obsession

On February 15, 2015 by Lori Z

This is a post by JBFC Theater Staff Member Jeffrey Crowley

Boyhood_JCCelebrating the film’s recent awards success, The Jacob Burns Film Center brought Richard Linklater‘s masterpiece Boyhood back to Pleasantville for daily screenings these past two weeks, and I promise you, you could not have found anyone in the tri-state area happier than me. Honestly, if it were up to me, it may be the only movie we’d screen daily. After selling and ripping tickets to eight consecutive weeks of showing this film over the summer, the casual moviegoer or blog reader should rightly assume that this house staff member would have probably “had enough” of this movie, but we all know what they say about making assumptions… Or at least you might, no one will tell me.

If you’ve been (un)fortunate enough to tremble in the wake of one of my (more) flamboyant gushes over this movie, you’d know that my obsession with this film— because that is what this is, an obsession— approaches self-parody (heh…), but I promise you, dear readers, that my love for Boyhood is completely earnest.

My film-religious awakening came to me later than it did many of my fellow film-lovers at the Burns. I’ve always loved movies, but have made it my “profession” to see lots and lots of them annually for about the past four years or so. In that (short) period of time, I can’t quite think of movie that has struck me quite like Boyhood has.

Boyhood to me is a miracle of a movie. Surely, the acting is phenomenal, the editing seamless, and its production story is nearly biblical in scope; to have gathered the same cast and crew to tell the next chapter in the same story for 12 years is remarkable to say the least. That the movie works and looks as good as it does should almost be impossible. What gets me most, however, is the bracing intimacy of Boyhood. Having seen the film theatrically eight times now, I am still touched, moved, wowed and in stitches with each accrued viewing. There is a “how did they know that” quality to this film as each and every moment is filled with what I thought to be personal, individual observations and memories made from and of my own life. The apparent universally recognizable moments feel as personal to the director and his characters as they do to me, the viewer, as well as to so many whom I’ve discussed this film over with. This film shares a story that is as genuine as it is heartbreaking, beautiful, entertaining and insightful. Boyhood celebrates life with unbridled humanity, humor, accessibility, warmth and heart, and I can’t think of a better way to spend 3 hours of my day.

I could gush for hours on end about this movie (and invite anyone reading this to come listen to me do so over at 364 Manville Rd.), but why should I have all the fun? I implore you all: if you didn’t catch Boyhood at the Burns, go seek it out and watch it! Then watch it again!

Here’s to whatever 2015 movie I won’t shut up about, and, depending on how you feel about me, pray that it does (not) come to the Burns.

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