Boyhood, Technically No Elves

Boyhood, Technically No Elves
09/04/2016 Jenny Cook

I’ve been feeling a bit blue lately and wanted to share someting with you guys that never fails to cheer me up. This clip is from a movie called Boyhood (if you haven’t seen it WATCH IT) by one of my favourite directors of all time ever, Richard Linklater. It features the protagonist, Mason asking his dad (played by the ever awesome Ethan Hawke) whether there’s any real magic in the world. His dad responds in the most beautiful and heart warming way you could dream up and instead of giving the obvious response, which is of course a resounding no, he asks his son to consider whether elves are really any more magical than something like a whale. He discusses how these magnificent creatures have hearts the sizes of cars and arteries big enough to crawl through and paints a picture of a beast so wondrous that in just a few words he makes the viewer redefine their notion of magic and realise that there’s so much in the world that’s beautiful and mysterious and impossible to even begin to fathom. He taps into this crucial idea that in our capacity to imagine and create ideas of magic and myth we sometimes forget to really take in and appreciate the natural “magic” in the world around us, and this, I feel, is beautiful.


Mason: Dad, there’s no real magic in the world, right?

Dad: What do you mean?

Mason: You know, like elves and stuff. People just made that up.

Dad: Oh, I don’t know. I mean, what makes you think that elves are any more magical than something like a whale? You know what I mean? What if I told you a story about how underneath the ocean, there was this giant sea mammal that used sonar and sang songs and it was so big that its heart was the size of a car and you could crawl through the arteries? I mean, you’d think that was pretty magical, right?

Mason: But like, right this second there’s like no elves in the world right?

Dad: No, technically no elves.

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