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Dazed and Confused

Director: Richard Linklater


Richard Linklater follows his cult favourite Slackers with a movie for everyone who did inhale, to quote the original publicity tag which, alas, was banned by the Motion Picure Association of America. While it lacks the formal inventiveness of Slackers, Dazed and Confused still doesn’t bother itself overmuch with a plot, bein gmore a series of incidents in the lives of a group of American teenagers on their last day of school in 1976. It’s largely an ensemble piece, although the key character is perhaps Pink, a budding footballer torn between rebellion and conformity as the coach demands that he signs a pledge renouncing the booze and drugs before becoming senior quarterback. Linklater’s quirky observation steers the movie clear of the cliches of high school jinks and makes for a sympathetic, thoroughly recognisable portrait of adolescent life, love and war. In particular, a nicely fresh perspective life, love and war. In particular, a nicely fresh perspective is added by a couple of younger kids, along for the ride and gazing with a mixture of apprehension and aweat the antics of the peer group they’re on the verge of joining. And for anyone who was growing up at the time, further waves of nostalgia will be induced by a soundtrack which includes Alice Cooper, Aerosmith and Bob Dylan, amongst other.

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