Dazed and Confused

Was “Kids” (1995) a response to this movie? Can anyone confirm this? I’m curious.


Release date: September 24, 1993
Director: Richard Linklater
Language: English

Who should watch this movie: High school seniors. Folks who graduated high school in the late 70s. 

When should you watch this movie: When you’re 18 years old. When you’re growing concerned that high school may have been the best years of your life. 

The sell: If you catch this movie at exactly the right moment in exactly the right context, it can pack a classic Linklater gut punch and leave you wistful and satisfied. If you see this movie at any other time, the effect is bland and forgettable. This movies shines a light on normalized adolescent behaviors which are otherwise bizarre if not exorbitantly violent. It does so while simultaneously waxing nostalgic about the naiveté of youth and anxieties of young adulthood. In many ways, this is one of the most realistic portrayals of high school life to be rendered on film. It is true that these volatile years are packed with contradictions, in which sex, violence, fear, friendship, and football all coexist in tenuous harmony. However, in other ways, this movie overestimates its own universality. The youth in Linklater’s mind are preoccupied with stakes that don’t exist outside the microcosm of their immediate surroundings. While not explicitly pejorative, it makes light of what – in reality – are very real stakes facing adolescents who exist outside the bubble of suburban idyll. Personally, this movie brings up too many upsetting memories of fighting with fraternity brothers over the ethics of hazing to be truly enjoyable. “I went through it, so now I have a right to subject others to it,” is something I never want to hear again. 

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