TV Party is a Friday feature in which Film Editors Dominick Mayer and Justin Gerber alongside Editor-in-Chief Michael Roffman suggest one movie apiece to enjoy over the weekend. Joining them each week will be two rotating film staff writers to help round out the selections. Seek out any of the films via Netflix, Amazon, Redbox, Hulu, OnDemand, or abandoned Blockbuster and Hollywood Video stores — however you crazy kids watch movies these days! Enjoy ’em for the first time, a second, or maybe a redemptive third.
Dazed & Confused
When I’m living through Chicago winters like the one in which we presently find ourselves, one of my absolute go-tos is Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused, one of the all-time great films ever made about the wandering laziness of high school, as seen through Texas in 1976. Nothing of particular consequence happens in the film, and yet it’s rife with pangs of familiarity and nostalgia: the hossy jock who everybody knows will still be the same shitty person when he’s 40, the athlete who’s tired of having his decisions made for him by his surrounding world, that one kid every school had who’s just affable and baked all the time.
From the mean girls to the first loves, the clandestine keg parties in forests to the gut-wrenching terror that can only come from returning home late to your parent’s inquiring gaze, Dazed and Confused hits all the subtleties of being a suburban teenager in the kind of way that only a director with Linklater’s fine eye for human interactions could. Plus, as is appropriate for a film about long, purposeless drives through dark streets, the soundtrack is a killer. But you probably already knew that.