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Interview: Richard Linklater and Tommy Pallotta Discuss the Vision of ‘Apollo 10½: A Space Age Childhood’

My favorite animated film of the year is Apollo 10½: A Space Age Childhood. Considering that it is a personal bit of nostalgia that comes from Richard Linklater, it probably wasn’t a surprise. Still, the amount to which it touched me was a bit surprising, especially considering the less than ideal circumstances in which I watched it. Regardless, it’s impossible to deny the impact of Apollo 10½: A Space Age Childhood, so when the opportunity to talk to Linklater and producer Tommy Pallotta came about, I jumped at the chance. Today, you get to see that chat, which happened to last nearly a half hour!

In my review (here) of Apollo 10½: A Space Age Childhood, I had this to say:

Good-hearted nostalgia is a hallmark of Richard Linklater‘s career. Whether it’s BoyhoodDazed and ConfusedEverybody Wants Some, or several other works, Linklater loves to look back on formative years. In particular, Boyhood as well as Dazed and Confused will always be mentioned as highlights of his filmography (alongside the Before trilogy). I firmly believe that Apollo 10½: A Space Age Childhood is about to join that pantheon. There’s so much to love here, truly. Watching the film is an exercise in giving you over to warmth and nostalgic memories. Apollo 10½ renders it absolutely mesmerizing. Even with a meandering nature (also a Linklater hallmark), you’re roped in before too long.

Apollo 10½: A Space Age Childhood is clearly one of Linklater’s most personal films. Little moments, like mentioning the construction and opening of the AstroDome, are evidence of this, while giving the movie a distinctive flavor. The quicker you give yourself over to the story of Apollo 10½, the more you end up falling for it. This is lovable work that should appeal to everyone, though Linklater lovers will obviously be even more delighted.

Below, you can see my conversation with Linklater and Pallotta. We have a very casual chat about Apollo 10½: A Space Age Childhood, hitting a number of angles, including the light controversy when the film wasn’t initially ruled eligible for Oscar consideration in Best Animated Feature. The ruling was appealing and overturned, thankfully, but getting the time to talk about that with them was quite fascinating. Mostly, it’s such a personal movie, hearing Linklater and Pallotta detail how it came together was a pleasure. Plus, having this much time to talk is a rarity, so I certainly made the most of it. I suspect you’ll enjoy this discussion, and if you somehow haven’t seen Apollo 10½: A Space Age Childhood, you can rectify that right now on Netflix…


Here now is my interview with Apollo 10½: A Space Age Childhood filmmakers Richard Linklater and Tommy Pallotta. Enjoy:

Apollo 10½: A Space Age Childhood is currently streaming on Netflix!


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Written by Joey Magidson

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