Dazed and Confused

We Are What We Are (2013) Blu-ray Screenshot

For the last 12 years, you could say that Richard Linklater has been just a little bit busy developing Boyhood, his triumph of a film concerning the growth and life of a boy from childhood through adolescence — in real time. And while that ate up a dozen actual years, Linklater didn’t put all his eggs in one basket. As with his Boyhood cast, he allowed himself to work on other projects and tinker with new ideas for future films. One such project is the long-awaited follow-up to his 1993 masterpiece Dazed and Confused. The Playlist reports that Linklater has begun casting this “spiritual sequel” (as Linklater has called it), which is titled That’s What I’m Talking About. He sent offers for three of the lead roles to the following up-and-coming young actors: Blake Jenner (Ryder from Glee — you know, the one that got catfished by another Glee club member), Tyler Hoechlin (the Teen Wolf from Teen Wolf) and Wyatt Russell (Zook from 22 Jump Street and the son of Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn).

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Where were you in ’73? August 11, 1973, to be specific? I wasn’t alive, but just because I wasn’t there on opening night doesn’t mean I can’t celebrate the 40th birthday of American Graffiti, which hit theaters on that date*. Just the same, it doesn’t matter that I can’t really answer the film’s tagline of “Where were you in ’62?” George Lucas‘s nostalgic teen movie is as classic as the cars that appear in it, and that’s because it resonates for viewers of all ages and all eras. Maybe we didn’t grow up on the same music and meet up at the same kind of hangout as Mel’s Drive-In, but we can all find something familiar in this multi-narrative feature. It’s no wonder Richard Linklater’s own nostalgic ensemble teen movie, Dazed and Confused, is so similar to Lucas’s. Teen life hadn’t changed all that much in 14 years. Nor is it all that different after 51 years. It’s kind of strange to think about how American Graffiti was set only 11 years before its release. We’re quickly nostalgic today, but that was a pretty quick turnaround for audiences to get so sentimental about the culture of a decade prior. It’d be like us getting a deeply nostalgic movie about 2002 now. Yet 1962 probably felt more like an eon ago to people in 1973. The characters in the movie haven’t been through the JFK assassination yet, let alone RFK and MLK, they haven’t seen the worst of Vietnam or the […]

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Dazed high school girls

  It won’t officially be the 20th anniversary of Dazed and Confused until this fall, but last Thursday the film was honored at the annual Texas Hall of Fame Awards, where it received the Star of Texas Award from presenter Quentin Tarantino. In person to accept were writer-director Richard Linklater and members of the cast, including Wiley Wiggins, Anthony Rapp and Joey Lauren Adams. To continue the film’s recognition, it seemed fitting to devote this week’s Scenes We Love to the 1993 high school movie classic. Dazed is not the sort of feature that is easily broken up by scenes. There are many memorable moments, a lot of quotable lines, but as far as individual scenes are concerned there aren’t many that can be bracketed and labeled so cleanly. There are definable acts marked by location, such as the school act, the Emporium act and the beer bust/moon tower act. Are the many distinct pieces of each of these sections qualifiable as scenes? Obviously I’m thinking too much about it. I feel like this is a conversation for Tony, Mike and Cynthia to have while cruising around. Clearly those geeks were the ones I most identified with when the movie came out during my junior year. As usual feel free to name your own favorite scenes or those you think are the “best.” You can find six scenes I love and the personal reasons why after the jump.

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This Week in Blu-ray

This is the best week of Blu-ray releases of 2011. Mark my words. No seriously, write it into your calendars. Between the breakout geek genre hit of the year, a Blu-ray set 65 million years in the making, a hero we can all believe in, creepy Finnish Santas, some Criterion confusion and Serbians doing terrible, terrible things to each other, this may be the most well-rounded, exciting week of releases we’ve seen in a long time. And it all begins with a must-have Pick of the Week… Attack the Block When Joe Cornish and Edgar Wright got together and decided to make a film about a group of hoodlums who face down an alien invasion, they probably didn’t think of you or me once. They didn’t know that they’d be custom-tailoring a sci-fi comedy for the nerd set that would ignite crowds and become the cult hit of this (and probably a few other years). They couldn’t have known. But they moved forward anyway, with a cast of unknowns and some killer creature designs, creating what could go down as the geek film of 2011. What’s more impressive about this release? Even though I didn’t receive a review copy, I’m making it pick of the week. Usually I’m a big whiney baby, who gets a bunch of review material, only to pick it apart week to week. But this week I’m putting my own money where my mouth is. In a week when competition comes from one of the longest awaited Blu […]

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Criterion Files

When I write this column, I typically don’t get the opportunity to write about movies from my teen years. I, like many, came into a cinephilic love for art and foreign cinema during college, and in that process grew to appreciate The Criterion Collection. Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused (1993), however, is a movie that’s followed me through various changes in my life for (I’m just now realizing as I write this) about half of my time thus far spent on Earth.

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published: 11.19.2014
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published: 11.19.2014
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published: 11.18.2014
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published: 11.14.2014
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