Its 1976, its the last day of school, and everyones looking to party. Thats pretty much the gist of Richard Linklaters slacker opus Dazed and Confused, but what could easily have been just another brain-dead stoner comedy proves to be a near-perfect encapsulation of an entire generation. Linklater deftly follows a terrific ensemble cast of then-unknowns (including Ben Affleck, Milla Jovovich and Matthew McConaughey) as they cruise for booze, look for love and try to dodge bullies. The film is a remarkable achievement made more so by the fact its only the directors third feature, but the effortless camerawork and skillful storytelling belie the work of a neophyte director. Linklaters subsequent work has since fulfilled the promise of this early offering, but Dazed and Confused remains, hands down, his best film.
Wed., Nov. 5, 7:30 p.m., 2008