On Thu 4/16 at 8 PM, the Logan Theatre will screen Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused (1993), his early feature about a day in the life of Texas high schoolers in 1976. Linklater’s filmmaking career began in the early 90s, when independent American cinema experienced a groundswell of new talent. Of the directors who came of age during this period, some have enjoyed long, successful careers in Hollywood (Quentin Tarantino, David O. Russell), some have stuck to their independent roots (Gregg Araki, Alexandre Rockwell), and some seem to have gone off the deep end completely—looking straight at you, Kevin Smith.
Linklater belongs to the group, which also includes Steven Soderbergh and Gus van Sant, that’s successfully waded into the mainstream while maintaining a sense of independence, often supplementing their smaller passion projects with money made from bigger movies. Similar to Soderbergh, Linklater’s mainstream efforts tend to satisfy only the basest requirement of Hollywood cinema (that is, casting recognizable stars) while exploring ideas that don’t necessarily lend themselves to conventional standards—their impersonal surfaces often belie deeper, less apparent qualities. For that reason, I often find his most showy works (Waking Life, A Scanner Darkly) less interesting than his more “conventional” offerings. You can see my five favorites after the jump.