Dazed and Confused (1993)

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Oh boy, this was a fun film. This wasn’t grand opera, but damn it was really enjoyable. I think I liked this film a bit more than I should have – a bunch of teenagers smoking and drinking and not much happening? Normally that would fall between “Okay, and?” and “Meh” on the scale of my interest. But in the hands of the great Richard Linklater, it becomes a funny, heartbreaking and touching film about youth and living in the moment.

The film is so nihilistic in story – it takes place in one day and weaves between the stories of a bunch of teenagers, each looking for love, fun and most of all, life in their own seperate ways as they navigate one hot summer night in 1976. That’s pretty much the story, and not much else can be said plot-wise – its something you need to see to experience the full story. Words cannot describe the raw emotion in those performances, and you truly feel like you’re watching an array of real teenagers go about their real lives. It never rings false for even one second, and that is why Linklater is one of our greats – he gets real, natural performances out of his actors instead of scenery-chewing, over-acting, artificial pantomime.

There are of course major flaws, but they are more than adequately resolved by the pure cinematic genius and genuine charm that is brought in this film. It is definitely a fantastic film and I’ll be damned if this doesn’t rival The Breakfast Club to become the greatest teen movie of all time.

Just keep livin’

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