He will be given The Woodstock Film Festival’s Maverick Award, not as a premature life achievement distinction for cult favorite Before Sunset (Oscar-nominated for best screenplay) or for the remake of Bad News Bears. The Maverick is meant to honor audacity, nerve, defiance. Linklater, 49, is gleefully guilty of all three transgressions. The cult classic Slacker was made for a mere $23,000, a rebuke to bloated Hollywood budgets. In A Scanner Darkly and Waking Life, he revived animation rotoscoping to blur the distinction between reality and fever dream. In Fast Food Nation, he giddily cross-cut between brutal fact and fiction to declare the full-on dangers of factory farming and GMO devastation, as originally mapped out in Eric Schlosser’s book. (Linklater is a vegetarian.) And Sunset Strip networking be damned, he still lives in Texas.
Richard Linklater will be given the WFF’s Maverick Award on Saturday, October 3. He joins other film industry firebrands whose mission has been to make film an instrument of social change.
2008: Kevin Smith; 2007: Christine Vachon; 2006: Barbara Kopple; 2005: Steve Buscemi; 2004: Mira Nair; 2003: Woody Harrelson; 2002: Tim Robbins; 2001: D. A. Pennebaker & Chris Hegedus; 2000: Les Blank