STILL “DAZED AND CONFUSED” AFTER ALL THESE YEARS

Once the celebs and darkness settled, McConaughey introduced director Richard Linklater, who in turn introduced Parker Posey. Linklater and McConaughey got obvious kicks cracking each other up, while Ms. Posey set the evening’s standard by yelling Darla’s infamous, “Lick me, all of you!” to a crowd of cheers. The three spoke in turn about the film and the massive turnout as the rest of the cast joined the stage. A few of them squeezed in a few words before showtime; Nicky Katt mentioned that he didn’t want to be a wet blanket, however, “You all know you’re not allowed to smoke marijuana here, right?”
Most Austinites already know that no one goes out of their way to set the mood for a film the way Austin’s Alamo Drafthouse Theatre does. To kick off the screening, they unleashed a few horrid ’70s trailers—”Pretty Maids All In a Row” (a Rock Hudson flick about a high school coach who has flings with his female students and resorts to murdering them to ensure their silence), “The Pom Pom Girls” (no explanation needed, really), “The Van” (a shy high school kid gets a shag-van (??) and drag races it (!) when he’s not seducing hot high school chicks), and “Teenage Graffiti” (imdb.com gives it the skeleton outline, ouch).
As the film unwound, each actor’s first on-screen appearance received loud appreciative cheers (though it should be noted that nearly each of McConaughey’s appearances met with loud approval), as did all the favorite lines. Rating the best lines of the film by the crowd’s cheers, the best would include Darla yelling at a freshman after the initiation, “What are you looking at? Wipe that face off your head, bitch!”; Wooderson’s, “That’s what I like about these high school girls, man. I get older…they stay the same age”; and of course, Slater’s line as he overlooks Austin from the Moon Tower, “Man, will you look at this fucking city?” which may have possibly had even louder cheers than any one McConaughey scene.
The film wrapped up with much applause, discarded plastic beer cups, and a chance for the marijuana haze to clear. Consequently, sobriety played a very small role in the Q & A that ensued. Questions ranged from painfully stupid (rhetorically asking Joey Lauren Adams how filming this compared with “Bio-dome”) to painfully trite (asking Jason London if they had fun making the film). As much as I love Austin and the people in it, it just goes to show that everyone’s intelligence is subject to question after copious amounts of alcohol. Someone even told (a little too confidently, I might add) McConaughey how good his butt looked “in those pink pants” and asked if it had held up over ten years? After correcting her that he had, in fact, worn “peach pants,” he made his escape with a wine comparison.
In response to the question about having fun, most everyone had a go at the mike declaring just how much they loved making “Dazed and Confused,” a moment in which Ms. Adams confessed that all the actors had been stoned in the very last scene. “We didn’t have any speaking roles!” she explained hastily. In his reply, Mr. London also noted how proud he was to cite Austin, Texas as the filming location for the movie. Ms. Adams echoed his sentiment moments later as she launched into a heartfelt speech about how moved she was, “close to tears”, by the size of the crowd and their hours-long enthusiastic support of both the film and its crew.
Linklater was asked if they planned to release a 10-year anniversary DVD, though he loved the notion, he also didn’t think it might materialize. As Linklater said, “Dazed and Confused” is a studio film, and it’s remarkable it was ever made. He thought the same movie in similar circumstances could never be made today.
While the cast seemed pretty shocked at the size of the crowd, and while it may have been Austin, undoubtedly other cities have a similar crowd who have appreciation for 1976 seen through this 1993 film. Simply put, “Dazed and Confused” is one of those fun films—one in which it’s obvious people had fun making it and people still have fun watching it. As Joey Lauren Adams said towards the end of the Q & A, “If I hadn’t been in it, I’d have been on the couch every weekend watching it with friends and getting stoned!”




Posted on June 17, 2003 in Features by
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