Today is the 37th anniversary not of an event, but of a depiction. Richard Linklater’s classic film Dazed and Confused, which came out in 1993, depicted one day in the life of an Austin, Texas high school. That day, as clearly identified in the first scene of the movie, was May 28, 1976, the last day of school.
I’ve loved Dazed and Confused since it came out and I’ve probably seen it over 50 times, and I always watch it again every year around the end of May. Today it’s a cult classic, known for having launched the careers of Matthew McConnaghey, Ben Affleck, Anthony Rapp, Adam Goldberg, Marisa Ribisi, Parker Posey, Milla Jovovich and others. It also attempted to be an honest, unvarnished look at the real lives of high school kids in the 70s, warts and all. Unlike many people, I don’t think Dazed and Confused is about drugs, though there are a lot of drugs consumed in the movie. That’s just the way the 70s were. Dazed and Confused isn’t really about much at all–it has no plot and the character arcs are subtle at best–but it’s still an amazingly cool and honest movie.
What’s even more amazing is that the movie itself is 20 years old this year. I remember when it came out in 1993, and it’s hard to believe it was 20 years ago. For those of you who remember the early 90s, and perhaps even the 70s in real life (which I do, although I was very young), here’s a statement that will blow your mind, man.
Today in 2013, the original release of Dazed and Confused is farther back in the past (20 years) from the present than the time frame of the movie was from the date of its original release (17 years).
While you ponder that little bit of profundity, watch the first scene of the film, with an awesome Aerosmith soundtrack, and think about how old you are.