boyhood psychological analysis
1368 Words 6 Pages. His elliptical replies felt tedious. The art of improvisation is a path and not a system: it is a modus operandi that anyone can learn at any stage of life. His sister is back from college and appropriately proud of her brother. Over the years, he shares folk songs he's written and on Mason's fifteenth birthday gives him a mixtape of tracks from the Beatles' solo albums. As first encountered, he is a quietly spoken, fairly typical American boy, growing up in the Texas suburbs. Mason Jr.’s feelings of being different and his attempts to be authentic in the face of high school hegemony rang especially true to me, with my own similar struggles three decades ago in a small Texas city. Two unknown children depicted their kids: Ellar Coltrane, aged 6, as Mason Jr; and Lorelei Linklater (the filmmaker’s daughter), aged 8, as Samantha. The choice stems from his inborn gift for acute observation-one has the impression he has always been framing strong pictures with a mental camera-and from the outsider stance he has adopted to deal with the sundry losses of family, homes, fathers, friends throughout his life. Linklater adroitly drops subtle hints about the fate of a character (eg, Olivia’s academic drunkard husband noisily orders a second bottle of wine at their honeymoon celebration). An astounding achievement, filmed over a dozen years, 'Boyhood' is thoroughly riveting. Mason remains equally detached and respectful with almost everyone, whether his ultra-religious relatives or his father’s wastrel musician friends. Best of all, Boyhood is one of the most memorable films ever made about the art of improvisation as a path of wisdom, creativity, and personal renewal. We emerge almost shaken, with a breathtaking sense that we have witnessed something authentic, uplifting and profound. He regales his son and daughter with stories and has gifts for them. The result is a profoundly moving, clear-eyed and glorious meditation on the human condition. Bullied at school and addicted to video games, Mason is attracted to animals, his collections, and elves. The performances of all four lead actors are understated and outstanding, but Coltrane, especially, is a revelation. From the psychological perspective, this film has a lot to offer. Douglas T. Kenrick, Ph.D., is professor of social psychology at Arizona State University. although not by an Academy Award for Best Picture. The film tells a story of a divorced couple trying to raise their young son. The director also skillfully implies a character’s dark future, then defies our expectations. This review contains spoilers. By the time Mason comes of age, he is ready to fall in love with a beautiful young woman, to handle a break-up, to try and console the emptiness his mother feels thinking about her empty nest, and to savor a moment with a girl he goes hiking with on his first day at college. Mason Sr ceases his itinerant wandering, settles into an actuarial job, marries successfully, and has another child. There is even an episode of which plays like Before Sunrise in microcosm as the teenage Mason has his first love affair. Did you get along with them? A link has been posted to your Facebook feed. In 2002, Linklater brought together 4 actors to portray the members of a divorced middle-class Texas family. A link has been sent to your friend's email address. The overall arc of his youth is recognizable to anyone who remembers being a child, or has raised one. The story follows the boy for twelve years, from first grade at age 6 through 12th grade at age 17-18, and examines his relationship with his parents as he grows. One intuits a dawning-at times dreamy-thoughtfulness, and his growing self-perception as a perennial secretive outsider/observer. He has an almost uncanny internal alarm for critical moments in his parents' lives. Even so, this is a film with a huge emotional charge. !” reaction. "Your childhood memories — the words you use to describe them and the feelings you attach to them — say volumes about who you are and how you live today.". Copyright © 2006 - 2020 by CIStems, Inc., d.b.a. Or startling-notably, the jump cuts between Mason’s childhood and early puberty. The film doesn’t always fill in the blanks as to what happens next. Linklater also deliberately keeps roiling politics and booming technology at Boyhood’s margins.). They go bowling and then pig out on junk food. Evoking a sprawling sense of real life and the passage of time, Boyhood is masterful storytelling that feels astonishingly seamless. Could you manipulate or ' bluff' your parents? Boyhood pushes these to the edge and beyond. Mason’s father returns as if dropped from the sky from Alaska, where he has been working itinerantly and playing rock guitar. His parents and sister undergo equally startling transformations in the course of the 12-year shooting period. Hawke has described Boyhood as an example of “human time-lapse photography,” and in so doing, he identifies the film’s essential feat: it returns cinema to its original mandate, to reflect reality as it occurs in time in a sequence of images. In one scene, Hawke’s character is trying to have a heart-to-heart with his kids about how he and their mother are like many people who simply have difficulties getting along. Of course, Mason Jr. also experiences plenty of non-normative milestones due to his parents’ divorce, such as frequent moves and a host of blended family situations, some of which fall far short of ideal. Mason Sr. (Ethan Hawke), his father, has returned from a trip to Alaska where he did a variety of odd jobs. Linklater intended his story to pivot around the son’s passage from boyhood to late adolescence. I conjecture his future will be informed by the wrestling match between these two opposing introjects. Why? By the film's conclusion we feel as if Mason can safely go off to an independent life without our watchfulness. Mason is artistic, wry and philosophical. 166 mins, starring: Patricia Arquette, Ellar Coltrane, Lorelei Linklater, Ethan Hawke, Marco Perella, Find your bookmarks in your Independent Premium section, under my profile. For example, Olivia, who lives in a cramped apartment, considers it natural to want to move to a bigger, better place. (At one stage late in the film, he refers to them as “a parade of drunken assholes.”) We see him frequently at meal times. Linklater’s film should be particularly poignant if you are either a parent or a child from one of those broken families, or both. After Boyhood won the top award at the Baftas last night for Best Film, read our review: Boyhood is the dramatic equivalent to Michael Apted’s long running Seven Up documentary series (which has followed its subjects at seven year intervals since they were kids.). Arquette is excellent as the doggedly determined mom who supports her kids and builds herself a career in the face of multiple setbacks. As Duke University’s Jennifer Lansford noted in a review of the research on parental divorce and children’s adjustment, broken families may be the new normal, with approximately 50 percent of children experiencing a parental divorce at some time during their development. You can also choose to be emailed when someone replies to your comment. . Please be respectful when making a comment and adhere to our Community Guidelines. I pronounce Richard Linklater a developmental filmmaker, whether he is focusing on the development of a relationship, captured in snapshots once every 10 years in his Before Sunrise trilogy, or in this longitudinal epic. There are hints that Mason as a teenager is being bullied. Winging It in the Face of Abuse and Violence at Home. There are tense scenes involving Mason’s hard-drinking and violent stepfather (Marco Perella), but, generally, Linklater avoids climactic moments. We try on a daily basis to complete our "to do" lists and stay on schedule but there are always distractions and interruptions. Shot in sequence over the course of 12 years — filming 3-4 days each year — director Richard Linklater chronicles the life of a Texas boy named Mason (Ellar Coltrane) in the formative years from age 7 through 19. © 2020 MJH Life Sciences and Psychiatric Times. A bit of a dreamer, he's usually kind, with a slow smile that must be earned. Boyhood is the dramatic equivalent to Michael Apted’s long running Seven Up documentary series (which has followed its subjects at seven year intervals since they were kids. Boyhood’s power-and poignance-centrally derives from one’s visceral experience of the authentic signatures of time on its actors’ features and forms... life cycle theory made flesh as it were. Mason realizes that he is not alone and will always have those who cherish him to turn to when he needs help. Horror cinema is often ruined when the monster is revealed as a man in a monster suit. Are Youth Shattering Traditional Notions of Adulthood. © 2020 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Satellite Information Network, LLC. Futile, often hilarious, attempts to bridge the generation gap constitute one of Boyhood’s many keenly observed themes, such as Mason Sr’s hamfisted tutoring of Samantha on birth control at a restaurant, utterly failing to register her squirmy “Geez dad, what if!? (While improving her lot, it also uproots Mason from the secure place and friends of his early childhood.) His schizoid-like distancing also enables him to endure considerable traumat-ic events, such as Olivia’s move to Houston. ). "Boyhood" is the embodiment of the blatant truth of life and growing up, and both the experiences of a child and a parent as time passes and the … We feel empathy for Mason as he wrestles with this answer. He publishes frequently on film, media, and popular culture. All rights reserved. Both methods produce astounding insight into the development of persons. Then there are all the people and institutions that want us to follow their script. Mason picks up an interest in photography and stands out from others in terms of his talent. "What frightened you as a child? She has become a successful psychology professor herself; settled into a reasonably content life sans marital woes. What she doesn’t say, but what the film implicitly depicts, is that human fathers are, unlike most other mammals, also strongly attached to their children, and vice-versa. Independent Premium Comments can be posted by members of our membership scheme, Independent Premium. Along the way, subsidiary characters came, went, and appeared again. Filmmakers have provided us with a real service by turning us back to the peculiar triumphs, defeats, and mysteries of childhood and youth. Toward the end of the film, when he is a freshman student out hiking in the mountains and taking magic mushrooms, he still has the same sense of wonder and detachment. If you have children, you know that it can be amazingly difficult not only to get your kids to tie their own shoes and feed themselves, but even to get them to listen to your helpful suggestions without rolling their eyes toward the ceiling. The film ends as Mason and his new roommates skip freshman orientation and trek into a majestic mountain landscape. If you’ve seen the 2014 film, "Boyhood," you’ve likely experienced the raw emotional awe that is so beautifully imparted on the majority of the film’s viewers. Linklater is the ideal filmmaker to pull off such an immense and intimate project, given his well-observed and witty Before Sunrise/ Before Sunset/ Before Midnight trilogy. Taking Flack for Living an Improvised Life. Two well-known adults-Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette-played parents Mason and Olivia. When Mason asks his father how to deal with all the mysteries and all the muck-ups of life, he learns, "We're all just winging it." Nothing is particularly extraordinary or earth-shaking in Mason's life, and yet it's all enthralling.


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