ETHAN HAWKE FEATURE
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his arms around at our generous liying-t'oom si/.ed quarters. 't'oi meow. eighteen hours a day. and Ric would s.i'_~.'. ‘what do you think about (iod. what do you think al‘out sex. what do yott think about . . .lohn lluston’s The Dead". and we'd talk about them all tor a couple ol' hours."
'l'sually. with moyies. eyerything‘s always ahottt money and what time it is. but this moyie wasn‘t like that. We wanted to make the script organic to w hat we tell and what we believed in
Linklater has drawn out performances which are perfectly balanced and impressively natural
what was true lot .lulie. what was true l'or :iie.‘ Such bonding is a subtle and underplayed antithesis to much ol‘ contemporary American mainstream cinema. But this is hardly mainstream. 'lt might be hard to understand this
moyie il‘ you‘d ney er met another person in your hle. but it‘s like the idea ol‘ entertainment l‘or
eutertainment‘s sake \‘et'stts entertainment and inl'orming.‘ says llawke. ‘Sometimes when yott try to make a mm-ie that wants to change the way information is presented it‘s hard and people are like. "teed me. feed me”. They haye a right to want that. but this is something dil‘l‘erent. It's c\lt;tttslitig. it‘s a lot easier to do a
Reality Bites: Ethan llawke with co-star Winona Ryder
scene where you weep uncontrollably than it is to sit there and listen to somebody and let them :tll‘ect you.’
Most people are quite happy sitting and listening to llawke and letting him affect them. Home in New York. people are doing jtist that. lie co—l‘ounded the Malaparte alternative theatre company two years ago. treading the hoards with a group of ten friends for what is currently a hot ticket in town. ‘ljust didn‘t like waiting for people to offer me jobs . . . It's the worst thing about being an actor. you have all these ideas and wanna he in this creative collaboration and you just kinda pace around your apartment until somebody thinks you‘re worthy.‘
The chances of llawke doing much pacing lrom now on seem slim. Which leads me to ponder: ll' (‘eline and Jesse spend one night together and then part. are they going to meet again'.’
‘lntellectually of course. it's impossible for this relationship to work. but emotionally people haye laith in things.‘ says Hawke. “It‘s sort of a test of whether you‘re a pessimist or an optimist. il~ you‘re an optimist they get it together. il‘ you‘re a pessimist . . . ' He shrugs and smiles and you imagine Hawke the slacker. maybe a tad too cynical to retrace that journey again. '_J lief/ore Sunrise opens (1! NW ('umco. lir/i/i/mrgli, on Writ/(1y 5 May
No Slacking Till Sunrise
Richard Linklater has come quite a way from his directorial debut days of Slacker- he’s now working with professional actors, a real budget and he no longer has to film in friends’ apartments - but he seems totally unfazed by the whole experience. In short, this is not a man to let fame go to his floppy-haired head.
After Slacker came Dazed and Confused, a film about hangin’ out, getting stoned, and listening to Led Zeppelin. By contrast, Before Sunrise is remarkably gentle, displaying a maturity and even polish that his earlier work lacked. When it premiered at the Berlin Film Festival earlier this year it was greeted with rapturous applause and led to Linklater leaving town with the Silver Bear for Best Director tucked under his arm.
‘In my mind I’d been thinking about this movie for about a year,’ explains linklater.
‘We shot a twenty-five day schedule and the people at finance said, hey, take another week if you need it. That’s the kind of pressure I was under - none.’
Linklater worked hard on the casting, understanding the need for that ‘vital spark’ between his two leads: ‘I wasn’t going to do this movie unless I had two people who would jump off that cliff with me. They needed to be very intelligent, passionate, committed and very giving. That’s what I liked about Ethan . . . a lot of actors would say, “There’s a lot of lines here, I’ll be the star,” but Ethan’s like, “man, I like it but I don’t know if I can make this work”.’ We were all really tough on each other, but not in a mean way. We were demanding real honesty.’
So where next, after the ‘slacker’ trilogy? ‘l’ve always been aware of Texan history or the clichés of what people think Texas is. I’m finally gonna take that on. And I’ve always liked criminals, or the mind of criminals, that outlaw status, living right outside society, and I’ve got a true story, about bank robbers . . . ’ spouts linklater. Gobstoppers might be a better bet lest all his ideas escape in a single breath. (Fiona Reid)
linklater: Best Director Berlin 1995