Richard Linklater’s new film Last Flag Flying, starring Bryan Cranston, Steve Carell and Laurence Fishburne, came out in time for Veterans Day last week. The writer/director of such films as Boyhood, Before Sunrise, Dazed and Confused, School of Rock and Waking Life stopped by Collider Studios to talk to John Rocha about the film. During the discussion, he talks about the genesis of the project, what motivated him to make it and what he hopes people will take from the movie.
The film is set in 2003 focuses on Cranston, Carrell and Fishburne as three Vietnam veterans who re-unite to help Carell bury his son, a young Marine whose just been killed in the Iraq War. These men, accompanied by the Marine best friend of Carell’s deceased son, have a series of adventures as they discover how deeply the Vietnam War has affected their lives. They run afoul of the Homeland Security Department, confront the war memory that haunts all three of them, try to make amends for it, and butt heads with a hard line Marine colonel.
In this exclusive interview, Linklater discusses in-depth the themes in Last Flag Flying. He speaks about his own experiences growing up with friends whose fathers served in the Vietnam War, he talks about the effects it had on him growing up in Texas, and he also discusses what the political climate and the mood of the country was during the time that the film is set. He also clarifies the misconceptions that the film is a sequel to Hal Ashby’s The Last Detail and Linklater expounds on his ideas of what patriotism means to him and how the film explores the many ways you can show patriotism to the USA. It’s a fascinating, informative and engaging interview with one of the most acclaimed film directors currently working today.