Dazed and Confused

Dazed and Confused ★★★★★

For years in interviews, Linklater has identified Minnelli’s SOME CAME RUNNING as his favorite film. This always seemed an odd choice to me. RUNNING is a masterpiece, of course, but mid-century technicolor melodrama doesn’t exactly square with Linklater’s nonchalant, observational inclinations.

I thought about that a lot revisiting DAZED this time around and the connection became clearer. There’s the justifiably iconic opening with a GTO floating on screen to perfect time with “Sweet Emotion” but more impressive than that this is the shot that follows— Mila Jovovich rolling a joint, her hands flecked with little scraps of weed. A lightning bolt moment: we’re in the hands of a filmmaker with a laser focus on the most minute details, perhaps not on the same plane as Minnelli but just as invested in getting it right and confident that this steady accumulation of precise details can coalesce into something greater. In the case of DAZED, it certainly does.

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