by Mike Bookey
The Inlander is 20 years old. Yeah, time flies.
We're celebrating our birthday tonight (6:30 pm doors/bars open, 7:30 pm movie) at the Bing Crosby Theater with a screening of Dazed and Confused, one of the first films reviewed in the paper. No-Li Brewhouse is providing the beer (at a completely reasonable $3/pint) and you'll get to see a documentary about the founding of the Inlander.
Most likely, though, you're coming to watch Dazed and Confused because you think the Richard Linklater flick is one of the best films of the past 20 years. You're not alone in your thinking.
You could dismiss this as a stoner comedy, which, OK, I'll admit it is. But there's a hell of a lot more to it than that. Linklater takes a snapshot of his own mid 1970s Texas high school experience, which to those of us viewing in the mid '90s (or today, for that matter) found nearly ideal, at least if you wanted to have a good time. The beer was plentiful. The teachers didn't care if you wandered the halls. You could throw a huge party in a public park with little consequence. You could also, if you were an asshole, insist on paddling incoming freshman with a fervor that would land you in jail for a few years if done these days.
But Dazed and Confused is also a masterfully told story. It takes place all in one day and uses two characters — Randall "Pink" Floyd and Mitch Kramer — to tie together the entirety of a high school's social landscape. There are some outrageous moments, for sure, but there isn't another "high school movie" that's so accurately captured the social constructs and deviance of teenagers.
And don't forget, It features one of the best rock and roll soundtracks of any film. Oh, and Wooderson. That dudes deserves a museum.
So here are five of the greatest scenes from this classic film.
...THEY STAY THE SAME AGE
YES, THAT'S BEN AFFLECK
THE INSPIRATIONAL MOMENT
PERHAPS THE BEST AMERICAN HISTORY MONOLOGUE EVER
IT'D BE A LOT COOLER IF YOU DID