Everyone’s Nice Talking Up Richard Linklater in the New Doc ‘Dream Is Destiny’


Richard Linklater is one of our most down-to-earth filmmakers, but he’s also pretty out there. Louis Black explores the casual philosophizing of his subject’s work in Dream Is Destiny, an admiring documentary that wisely lets Linklater do most of the talking in his plainspoken, unpretentious manner.

Of his success the writer-director says merely that he was “definitely born at the right moment” for Slacker (and, by extension, his entire career) to take off the way it did. There aren’t any scoops here, though Linklater does cop to agreeing with Cassavetes’s conception of film as a parallel world preferable to the real one — a melancholic note in an otherwise sunny worldview.

Black doesn’t break the documentary mold, relying heavily on archival footage and testimonials from frequent Linklater collaborators like Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy; unlike Noah Baumbach and Jake Paltrow’s De Palma, however, Dream Is Destiny is occasionally nice to look at when it isn’t showing clips.

It’s also the rare documentary tribute in which you actually believe that all its interviewees only have positive things to say about the subject, especially once it delves into Linklater’s inextricable links to Austin’s independent film scene — the one has grown with the other.

This is emblematized by the Slacker producer who makes a case for Linklater as both auteur and collaborator when he says that the filmmaker “includes everyone in his vision — but while you’re doing it, you’re pretty sure it’s your vision, too.” Watching his movies feels similar.

Richard Linklater: Dream Is Destiny
Directed by Louis Black

Sundance Selects

Opens August 5, IFC Center