Dazed and Confused (1993) ★★★★★

Makes you wish you were growing up in the 70’s. 

Texas, 1976: it’s the last day of school at Lee High and the seniors are excited to start their summer with a bang. This includes partying, drinking, smoking weed and hassling the new freshmen. Boys are a target of being hit with a baseball bat, whilst the girls are coated in ketchup and raw eggs, and being screamed at. Here, we are introduced to the conventional high school stereotypes: the jocks, the stoners, the geeks, and the cheerleaders. All of whom are joined by the older students that never left high school, and simply linger around to feel superiority.

This is a story of youth which unfolds in a spontaneous manner. Moreover, it captures the essence of an era, while addressing familiar issues pertaining to anyone coming of age. The film offers one of the greatest film soundtracks in history, ranging from Pink Floyd to Aerosmith. It is apparent that Richard Linklater put a lot of thought into the design aspect of the film, the whole thing screaming 70’s: costumes, cars, and cinematography.  The dialogue feels natural, and we are presented with a great cast. Matthew Mcconaughey makes a break-out appearance, while Ben Affleck breaks freshmen’s bums…with a bat, of course.

Dazed and Confused makes for a insightful representation of American life in the 1970’s. Not only is this a cult classic, but it produces fruitful conversation and many laughs. A sincere coming-of-age drama that captures the 70’s in its own quirky way. If you haven’t already been introduced to the excellence of Richard Linklater, then Dazed and Confused is a great place to begin.

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