Dazed and Confused


U.S.A.| 1993. Colour. Dolby stereo. 94 mins.

Although it lacks the formal inventiveness of Slacker, Dazed and Confused still doesn’t bother itself overmuch with a plot, being more a series of incidents in the lives of a group of American teenagers on their last day of high school in 1976. It’s another of Linklater’s ensemble pieces about the social rituals of teenagers and their preoccupation with having a good time. The key character is perhaps Randall (Jason London), a budding footballer torn between rebellion and conformity as the coach demands that he signs a pledge renouncing booze and drugs before becoming senior quarterback. Dazed and Confused paints an unblinking yet very funny portrait that shows how romanticised most movie teenagers are. We follow a large number of boys and girls, popular and not, as they drive aimlessly around town, drink beer, hang out, experiment with sex, fight, and in general try to invest their passage into adulthood with a significance it
doesn’t seem to have. As one of the teenagers comments, ‘If I ever say these were the best years of my life, remind me to kill myself.’

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