Saturday, 6 September 2014

Yellow to Hero

For the past few years, I've been trying to follow the philosophy of "Show up", meaning making more of an effort to get out and attend things.

Today, I got out and attended Boyhood, which was shot over twelve years.  They cast a seven-year-old boy and the director's seven-year-old daughter as his older sister.  I think she's supposed to be about two years older, but luckily, the developmental lag that boys seem to have worked in the movie's favour.  Shooting for a few days a year for a total of 45 days between the spring of 2002 and the autumn of 2013, all the characters, the boy and the girl, and the adults that surround them (including Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette as the parents) age 12 years without the need for prosthetics or special effects, and even though the film is close to three hours long, you barely notice it.  (Except for the part where I had to run to the washroom.) 

Both young actors were born in 1994, so their childhood and adolescence is contemporary with that of my daughters.  The story, though, is a very American one and it's set in Texas which is damn near a universe of its own.

While I'm not sure how much of the characters' experience would be recognizable to my children -- the American school experience was very foreign to me, even though I had close American friends as a teenager -- they would certainly recognize the music.  Starting in 2002 with "Yellow" by Coldplay, we hear snatches of Blink 182, Britney Spears, Weezer, Vampire Weekend, Arcade Fire, and of course, Gotye, among many others.  The song that stayed with me as I hurried out into the night and damn near got run over by a car bearing down on me in the lit crosswalk, was "Hero" which I've certainly heard before -- somewhere.  The lyrics are particularly apt, especially as the main character, now age 18 drives across Texas  to start college.  The original video, I discovered, is also a bit of a heart-breaker. 

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