Linklater is one of my favorite filmmakers because he is notoriously allergic to plot.
In many of his interviews, he explains that plot is this agreed upon structure we all sign up for hang moments on. It’s this contract with the audience. And although people think they want it, it’s really just a fake thing that they create that assumes life is going to give them closure.
But the reality is, life doesn’t have a plot. There may be turns in our narratives, but what most people remember about their lives are moments.
Now, here’s the challenge as it relates to filmmaking. Hollywood is a system. The way typical narratives are set up, there’s no room for philosophy, as executives view it as digressive material.
If it’s not advancing the plot, if it’s not moving the story forward, there’s no place for it.
Everyone has a friend who loves to point this out. You go see a flick and they spend the entire car ride home bemoaning the plot holes in the movie, noting the inconsistency in a storyline that goes against the flow of logic.
Good for them. Linklater could not care less. His biographer writes about this is the exploration of the filmmaker’s alternative notions of cinema. He has a career of movies that are conduits for a lot of ideas and energies that are spit back out in an interesting way. And the realism of the projects are their dismissing of any narrative.
It’s so refreshing and inspiring to know that somebody else thinks this way.
Because we’re all addicted to the fine white powder of clarity, closure, certainty, consistency, consensus, control, cleanness and completeness.
And the world could use a little less plot.
What really matters are the moments.
Moments where we’re happy to be alive. Moments when someone we meet is everything we’d hope they would be. Moments when thoughts end and dreams start. Moments when we see through the matrix. Moments when we suddenly feel every heartbeat in the room.
Moments when the magic is trying to enter. Moments when a door opens and lets the future in. Moments so golden that they take our breath away. Moments that are so deeply human that they cut through our differences.
That’s my perfect movie.
If somebody asks you what it’s about, you aren’t really sure what to tell them.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What moment do you want to own?