Second Time Around: Boyhood

Remember that Shalamar song “The Second Time Around”, an adorable ditty from the 80’s?

The songs lyric, “It’s better than the first time”…is true for watching “Boyhood”.

Club sandwiches come to mind as an apt analogy regarding both the scene breakdown and the soundtrack.

This time around, I appreciated the number of scenes during each segment of the character Mason’s life. The only pattern I detected was a club sandwich effect, the longer “bread” segments occurring at the beginning (Ellar/Mason as a small child), middle (during the alcoholic step-dad years) and end (Ellar/Mason navigating his first love and college decisions). Hearing a director’s commentary on what didn’t make the film would be fascinating.

Being an ultra sensitive gal reared in a childhood with periodic domestic violence, the first time viewing “Boyhood” was fraught with fears of possible tragedies. The second time, I sat back and relaxed, even appreciating the soundtrack.

Re-listening now to the sixteen tracks, I’m biased toward Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy”, but how uniquely cute is Vampire Weekend’s “One: Blake’s Got a New Face”? There’s the requisite icons, Dylan and McCartney and nouveau rockers The Black Keys who kick ass on “She’s Long Gone” (playing in Rochester, by the way, Sunday September 14th!). The bread in the sound track’s club sandwich is Tweedy, his old, and sometimes current band Wilco and the finale by Canadian darlings Arcade Fire.

I also realized that holidays aren’t represented in the film which goes to illuminate that special moments often occur when natural life happens, not during the ‘ok, we’ve got to be merry because its Christmas’ routine. As Stevie Wonder sings “It’s not the religion, it’s the relationship”, and Linklater captures those; mother-son, father-son, parental and spouse, beautifully.