Last night there was a great little documentary on American Movie Classics about the making of Dazed and Confused.

In case you don't know the movie, here's the IMDB description: "The adventures of incoming high school and junior high students on the last day of school, in May of 1976." That's about all there is to it. That, plus a young cast that included Matthew MacConaughey (as the stoner/loser who has graduated but hangs around the high school anyway), Ben Affleck (as the asshole), Jason London (the good-natured stoner/jock who gets along with everybody, but won't sign the "declaration" that says he won't get high or drink during football season), Parker Posey (the bitch, of course), Cole Hauser (the knucklehead football player), Joey Lauren Adams, Milla Jovovich, and a whole shitload of others. It's not The Outsiders, but a pretty impressive cast.

And, by the way, Affleck and MacConaughey are so good in their roles as assholes that you might even forgive some of the movies they've made in the past five years.

The movie in general is a pitch perfect take on what it was like to be a kid in a small town in that era. Everything -- the music, the clothes, hair, the way kids talk, the fact that there is nothing to do but drive around, the ennui of the smart kids who know its all bullshit but still worry about what they're missing, the melancholy of knowing that these might be the best years of your life and realizing that they are slipping away and also that they are, in fact, not so great (as London's character, Randall "Pink" Floyd says "All I'm saying is that if I ever start referring to these as the best years of my life - remind me to kill myself") -- is just about right.

Anyway, it's a great movie, and the making of documentary -- called Making Dazed -- is worth catching. Mainly, it reminded me of The Last Waltz or Festival Express in that it really made me wish that I was there and got to be a part of that.

I wasn't. Oh well.

At least I can take some solace in the words of MacConaughey's Wooderson, who delivers what message the film has to offer:

Man, it's the same bullshit they tried to pull in my day. If it ain't that piece of paper, there's some other choice they're gonna try and make for you. You gotta do what Randall Pink Floyd wants to do man. Let me tell you this, the older you do get the more rules they're gonna try to get you to follow. You just gotta keep livin' man, L-I-V-I-N.


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Mike said...

I really wanted to see that, and then I forgot all about it. Hopefully AMC will replay it. Dazed and Confused is one of my favorite movies. I didn't even go to high school in that era but it still manages to capture the essence of my high school experience (well, the field parties, sports and awkwardness more so than the paddling). Also Ben Affleck's finest role. Maybe playing an immature prick came naturally to him