Cine_Addict’s review published on Letterboxd:
Here we go again... 🏃♂️
Watched on Criterion (The best way)
Dazed and Confused. American Graffiti. 20th Century Women. Some of my favourite films of all time. Each one of them capturing an aspect, a facet of nostalgia and the inevitability of time and change. For both of those movies that aren’t Dazed, I’ve posted a long rambling review full of insecurity and sentimentality.
For Graffiti, I talked about it being a rose tinted portrait of people on the precipice of change, running out of time, counting down to a historical tragedy that ends up changing their lives. For 20th Century Women, I talked about how time is fragile and how our generation’s culture and experiences will be discarded and watered down by the next generation. And now Dazed. Dazed is my favourite of the lot, possibly my favourite movie of all time. Like the other two, it captures a moment in time, sealing it as a capsule to tell a story from the past. However, where I was imprinting my own experiences onto Graffiti and 20th Century Women, Dazed perfectly captures that moment without the constraints of a tight plot and character arcs. It’s the Linklater take on nostalgia, where instead of us following a narrative with a predefined ending, we’re just along for a ride for a few hours, taking in what’s there while we’re there.
It’s the Linklater style that makes him possibly my favourite director. Wandering voyages out into time, using the amount we have however we see fit. Whether that’s meeting someone on a train and spending a night together in Vienna, growing up in the 2000s and becoming someone ready to take on the world or just chilling in 1976 with some beers and a few buds, watching everyone just live. My favourite films from his just have this ‘life as an experience’ feel to them like an educational theme park ride. It’s like he just gets human beings, like he’s able to transfer his experiences over to those projects. When people talk about certain movies being profound, they mention Tarkovsky and Ozu and the like. But to me at least, Linklater provides that profoundness with films so deeply human and relatable that they almost cross into documentary format. He’s my greatest inspiration and I’d definitely be lying if I said his fingerprints hadn’t subconsciously found their way onto the project I’m working on, I just love his style too much. He’s just such a free spirit.
What he threw at us with Dazed was something very simple. The fact that our moments in time, whether they’re shared or not, are ours. We go out, we party, we meet people and forge relationships, we meet people one night and never speak again, we make these memories and most importantly, we live. Linklater treasures those times in the seventies and the nineties just like we have times of our own that we personally treasure. Funnily enough, I said this in my 20th Century Women but you know what? It’s relevant and I don’t care so I’ll say it again. We have our limited years of freedom before settling down and middle age and the responsibilities that come with them claim us and drag us down to being just another person, gradually fading us away to being a relic of everyone else’s past. We’ve just gotta make sure we make the most of it while we have it. Keep partying, keep meeting people and treasure your passions. Life is a slow ride, we’ve just gotta take it easy and keep L.I.V.I.N.