Richard Linklater just had his hometown premiere for “Hit Man” in Austin May 15, at which his star and co-writer Glen Powell was inducted into the Texas Film Hall of Fame. But he’s already wrapped his next movie, “Nouvelle Vague.”

Shot in Paris, “Nouvelle Vague” tells the story of Jean-Luc Godard making his jump from Cahiers du Cinema film critic (Cahiers is also fittingly where the first look images from “Nouvelle Vague” made their debut) to filmmaker with the making of his first movie, “Breathless.” Guillaume Marbeck is Godard, and Zoe Deutsch plays his star Jean Seberg.

On the red carpet of the “Hit Man” premiere, Linklater talked to IndieWire about what he hopes viewers take away from “Nouvelle Vague” and, especially, what we can learn from the French New Wave filmmakers at this moment when there’s such doom and gloom about the future of cinema.

“Just absolute love and dedication to cinema,” said Linklater, of what lessons Godard and company still have to impart today. “That cinema is its own world that’s worthy of reverence to treat as an elevated, all-encompassing, devote-your-life-to art form. That’s what I’m trying to conjure in that movie. Just to show the absolute love of cineastes. They invented the [idea of] cineastes, so you’re hanging with all of them. And it reminded me a lot about making my first film. It’s about a guy making his first film.”

His longtime producing partner Mike Blizzard added to IndieWire, “We tend to venerate people from the past, I think, and this treats the characters as real people who’re just trying to figure out how to make a movie. My hope is that it will be considered one of the classic films about making films.”

There’s something particularly special about the way that Linklater is so deeply rooted in Austin yet has the capability and expansiveness to make films in Vienna (as with “Before Sunrise”) or Greece (as in “Before Midnight”) or Paris (as in “Nouvelle Vague”). Having such a sense of where he comes from seems to have enabled him to become a citizen of the world, effortlessly fitting in anywhere.

“Honestly, the effortlessly at ease [bit] is probably a little bit of a perception,” Blizzard said. “There’s a lot going on behind that, that [Linklater] might be nervous about or insecure about, just like any human being. And so it’s challenging for him, just like anyone. I mean, it’s like these projects aren’t easy to make happen. You can be Richard Linklater and not get your project greenlit. And so it’s always a challenge to get these movies made, but I think that it’s just he comports himself in a way that is very chill, and we try to have our sets be the same way. I’ve had so many people in the different movies I’ve worked with him now say, ‘This was the best experience I’ve ever had working on a movie set.’”

Leave a comment