Among the lessons taught by Richard Linklater in Dazed and Confused—the
importance of specific locations, how much deeper nostalgia cuts when
it isn’t whitewashed, what Matthew McConaughey likes about high-school
girls—the most trenchant in this era of slack improv is that stoner
comedy doesn’t have to be sloppy. This is a movie of laser-Floyd
precision, each scene meandering to a specific purpose, like a symphony
in 420 time. It has the ecstasy of youth: It feels like the filmmakers,
like dopily wise Dawson, wanted to “look back and say that I did the
best I could while I was stuck in this place.” Academy.
- Best paired with: Laurelwood Tree Hugger Porter.
- Also showing: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (Laurelhurst), Grease 2 (Bagdad, 9 pm Thursday, Aug. 18).