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The Other “Boyhood” Movie and How It Got Made

By Feb. 4, 2015

American filmmaker, Jim Riffel began filming his niece and two nephews 12 years ago. His film “Time Flies”, condenses a 12 year period in the childrens' lives to only 15 seconds and has only one line of dialogue.

American filmmaker, Jim Riffel began filming his niece and two nephews 12 years ago. His film “Time Flies”, condenses a 12 year period in the children’s’ lives to only 15 seconds and has only one line of dialogue.

Nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Director and Best Picture, Richard Linklater’s powerful film, “Boyhood”, starring Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette, has also been honored with endless and well-deserved accolades including, again, Best Director and Best Picture nods at both The Golden Globes and Critics’ Choice awards.  But the movie, which was filmed over a 12-year period is not the only film that followed a family over the past dozen years.  Another American filmmaker, Jim Riffel, coincidentally, began filming his niece and two nephews 12 years ago.  Although Riffel’s film, “Time Flies”, spans the same 12 year period as Linklater’s, it only lasts 15 seconds and has only one line of dialogue: “Isn’t it funny how time flies?  One day you blink and 12 years have disappeared”.   Riffel made this interesting short movie by filming his niece and nephews saying a couple of words each year for the past 12 years.  The children, Alyssa, Chas and Patrick, are first shown at ages 4, 6, and 8, respectively,  and transform right before your eyes to into young adults, ages 16, 18 and 20, in a swift 15 seconds.  So, where did Riffel get his idea?  “An English filmmaker, Michael Apted had made a series of documentaries that began with him filming a group of English children when they were seven years old”, said Riffel, “He came back every seven years and filmed them again and again.  I saw “42 Up”, the documentary he made in 1997, when these children had reached the age of 42.  This documentary series is considered by many critics to be one of the greatest and most important films ever made.  I decided I wanted to make a film that was similar but in a short form.  That’s when I started filming my niece and nephews”.   Unlike “Boyhood” which will no longer follow the lives of its subjects, Riffel will continue, ad infinitum, filming his niece and nephews once a year with different words and phrases giving the short film the opportunity to be edited into dozens of different short films every year.  “It’s one of those lifelong projects that I think anyone from the ages of 5 to 105 can relate to.  You can’t stop time.  We all keep growing and changing.  This film just distills that truth into its simplest form”.

 

 

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One Response to The Other “Boyhood” Movie and How It Got Made

  1. Donald Calabrese Reply

    June 21, 2015 at 1:44 pm

    I like Jim Riffels quirky films and sensibilities. I think scene and interesting scene would be a timeless song begining started as a child and sung through to the finish by progressively older self. Maybe Sinatras’ “When I seventeen”

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