Wednesday, April 6, 2016


Richard Linklater was on hand on Sunday, April 3, to discuss his latest movie Everybody Wants Some after a member screening at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica. The Cinematheque's Linklater series continues through this weekend, including this film's companion, Dazed and Confused (screening before School of Rock), followed by the director's "Before" trilogy.  

Watching Everybody Wants Some is like time-traveling back to the 1980s. Long hair, groomed mustaches, patterned shirts, and disco music - it’s all there. The movie is a celebration of friendship, baseball, music, and a reminder of what it feels like to be young and reckless.

Billed as a “spiritual sequel” to 1993’s Dazed and Confused, Everybody Wants Some begins when freshman Jake arrives at a Texas university. He and his new buddies from the school’s baseball team use their last weekend before classes start to smoke pot, play ball and hit on girls while trying to find out who they are and where life will take them.

Like many of Linklater’s films, Everybody Wants Some is an ensemble film, and part of the reason why the film works so well is that the audience can feel the realness of the camaraderie between Jake and his new buddies.

This photo was taken at our EVERYONE WANTS SOME sneak preview at the Aero Theatre on April 3rd, 2016. Photgrapher: Amanda Troth.

To create this kind of bond between his cast members, Linklater invited all of them to a three-week workshop at his estate 30 miles outside of Austin. “I told all the guys they were gonna live together in this bunkhouse. And they did. There wasn't even enough beds for all of them. So I said some of them can sleep up [at the house]. They were like ‘No, no, we’ll get blow-up mattresses.’ They wanted to. So every square inch of the place, they were all kind of crammed in there.”

Linklater added that those three weeks were an intense mixture of work and play with the team rehearsing day and night but having fun at the same time. Baseball lessons constituted one part of the curriculum, but the cast also needed training in another sport: disco dancing.

“When the guys were taking disco dancing lessons, I realized they had no orientation. It’s like ‘wow, this is something their parents did,’” explained Linklater. To get his cast to connect with the 1980s, a “weird era, far, far in the past” to them, he deployed a secret weapon: YouTube videos of Soul Train and American Bandstand. 

Linklater also needed to teach his young cast that dancing can be a great way to flirt: “I realized how different it was. They don’t really do that [now]. Back then it was like some kind of a mating ritual: ‘Hey, you wanna dance?’”

And wow, do they dance in this movie! Not only disco, but also the Cotton-Eyed Joe and the Pogo dance, depending on the club the guys decide to hit up. Dancing and music are key elements in this film, with the latter sometimes just playing quietly in the background, sometimes taking center stage, making any comment or dialogue unnecessary.

This photo was taken at our EVERYONE WANTS SOME sneak preview at the Aero Theatre on April 3rd, 2016. Photgrapher: Amanda Troth.

The opening sequence of the movie sees Jake driving up to his college dorm while The Knacks’ “My Sharona" is blasting out of his car radio - and into the movie theater. “I saw how much the guys liked ‘My Sharona’ and I was kind of like ‘that’s not even my favorite Knack song necessarily’ because that song’s been used so much,” Linklater said during his Q&A. “But then I realized: It's the only choice. You just have to kind of jump in and go all the way with it.”

So he went all the way with it and turned the soundtrack into a perfect compilation of 1980s pop, rock, punk, country, and hip-hop tunes, featuring hits by Blondie, Van Halen, Patti Smith Group, and The Sugarhill Gang.

While working on the music was a lot of fun for Linklater, he couldn’t incorporate every song he wanted: “There was an early Prince, like teenage Prince, ‘I wanna be your lover’ Prince, I couldn't get it. It was like a morals clause.” Another singer whose work he couldn’t use because the rights were too expensive: Michael Jackson. Linklater instead chose “Let’s Get Serious” by Jermaine Jackson. “It’s a great song,” said Linklater, and got the audience laughing when adding “and a lot more affordable.”

Everybody Wants Some is a very personal film for the director, who used many of his own memories of his college time when writing the script. He originally wanted the movie to cover the whole academic year but then decided to focus on the first weekend instead. “I remember that weekend really well. You’re bonding…. and we went to these different clubs and it was like crazy. All the adult freedom that you now have mixed with these new people in your life….Everyone remembers that. Here are your new best friends, here you go.”