Hey folks, gather around, it’s story time. Today, we’re kicking back and celebrating three decades of the one film that truly gets us – "Dazed and Confused". It’s been 30 years since this cult classic first hit the screens, and it’s still as fresh as in 1993. Or shall we say groovy?
Set on the last day of school in 1976 in small-town Texas, "Dazed and Confused" is your typical high school movie, minus… the typical part. It’s about teenagers, sure, but there's no grand plot, no climactic showdown. Just a lot of cruising. Heck, the only suspense is whether or not Mitch Kramer will survive the paddle whack on his backside. It’s life, pure and simple, and it's got that sweet nostalgia hit that we hope you feel when you’re back at Penta after you’ve been fooling around with other hotel brands. Comforting, familiar, a little bit mischievous.
The movie features a crew of actors who were virtual unknowns at the time but are now as big as the queues at our breakfast buffet on a busy morning. We’re talking Matthew McConaughey, Ben Affleck, and Milla Jovovich – just to name a few. McConaughey's character Wooderson gave us lines that have first seeped into daily vocabulary, and nowadays live forever through memes - "Alright, alright, alright" and "You just gotta keep livin', man, L-I-V-I-N."
And don't get us started on that soundtrack. A mixtape of ‘70s rock tunes that takes you right back in time – give it a listen and you can imagine the massive slice of the movie’s budget that went just into securing rights. It's the kind of music that might just have you busting out some dance moves in our Pentalounge.
Linklater's visionary, sprawling narrative shines brightly in "Dazed and Confused," giving us not just a movie, but a celebration of adolescence. The distinct lack of a central protagonist or a traditional plot provides viewers with a genuine reflection of life's complexity, marked by its aimless wanderings, trivial conversations, and moments of personal discovery. Each scene flows into the next like a meandering river, providing just enough depth without drowning the viewer in unnecessary drama. Sure, it’s a movie set in the ‘70s (and highly acclaimed for its realism too), but it’s also a quintessential ‘90s indie flick. It’s fun, easy, but with a nice counter-cultural and iconoclastic attitude to it. And maybe that’s what makes it click with Penta.
In short, "Dazed and Confused" captures that heady feeling of being young, free, and a little bit lost - which incidentally, is how we all feel trying to find our room after a few too many at the Penta bar. So, here's to "Dazed and Confused," still not giving a hoot about where it's going after all these years. And neither do we, as long as we're having a damn good time getting there.
That’s all from us. Grab your popcorn, crack open a cold beer and jump back in time. Good thing that Criterion Collection just released the ultimate 4k UHD Blu-ray, to mark the anniversary.
Still credits: “Dazed and Confused (1993) - Official Trailer - Matthew McConaughey Movie HD”, uploaded to YouTube by Rotten Tomatoes Classic Trailers