the colonial theatre marquee

Dazed and Confused

Directed by Richard Linklater. US. 1993. R. 102 minutes. Universal. 35mm.
Fri., July 20, 2012
July 20, 2012
9:45 pm

“…The film is about throwaway moments: It orbits around a story that ends in nothing more consequential than some friends heading off for Aerosmith tickets. Dazed And Confused‘s enduring cult-classic status speaks to how simply and perfectly it evokes the last day of school in small-town Texas in 1976, not how it appeases the narrative gods.

…but even for the sober, it’s a contact high, because it offers a world that’s easy and pleasant to inhabit without the taxing goal of, say, making it to White Castle.

Linklater has always insisted that Dazed And Confused is about painful memories, which is visible in the characters’ interactions with authority figures, the cruel hazing rituals forced on incoming freshman, and the general uncertainty of growing up. Everyone in the film—from the quarterback (Jason London) forced to conform to others’ expectations to a timid 8th grader (Wiley Wiggins) facing a scary transition to a fun-loving deadbeat (Matthew McConaughey) still chasing high-school tail—has reason to despair. It’s a tribute to Linklater’s generous spirit that he can still laugh about it.” (Scott Tobias, The A.V. Club)