Bicentennial Buds

It’s 1976, it’s the last day of school, and everyone’s looking to party. That’s pretty much the gist of Richard Linklater’s 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 it’s only the director’s third feature, but the effortless camerawork and skillful storytelling belie the work of a neophyte director. Linklater’s 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

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