Lists are great. They inspire discussion, create arguments, and tend to spiral off into fun new lists. When you do a list about the “BEST” of anything it goes from being fun to becoming a hotbed for arguments. There’s no such thing as a definitive list but I’ve decided to pull from my rather extensive life of film watching and put it to good use.
This is not the “film critic’s top 100” list. There’s no guarantee Citizen Kane or The Bicycle Thief will be in the top echelon or even on the list. This is the 100 movies I would put my name on as my top 100. If I died tomorrow this would represent the 100 films I find most vital, special, or ones that bonded to whatever it is that makes me me. I’m not including documentaries, though that might make for a nice supplemental list.
The first 80 will be in no particular order. The last 20 will be in very particular order. One a day, you have my word.
#26 – Dazed and Confused
Why is it here:
Note: Remember that the first 80 are in no particular order.
The Breakfast Club. Heathers. Fast Times at Ridgemont High, American Graffiti. Carrie. All great movies about the high school experience. None are better than this. None are as loose as this, as presciently cast as this, and as timeless as this. Though some of the above flicks also have perfect marriage of music and image, there’s something playful about this soundtrack that also feeds its fire even more. A structure-free romp involving all the expected tropes of the 70’s high school experience through the smoky slacker lens of Richard Linklater, it’s a movie you can go back to again and again and again. Especially when a cast member reaches a new level of fame. I’ve watched this film during every phase of Ben Affleck and Matthew McConaughey’s careers and appreciated their work a little differently each time. Cole Hauser. Adam Goldberg. Milla Jovovich. Parker Posey. On and an on and on. So much fun, and done so damn effortlessly.
“That’s what I love about these high school girls, man. I get older, they stay the same age.” – Wooderson
Moments to savor:
McConaughey, every moment. Nicky Katt being a dick. Actors we know so well today laying the groundwork for their persona. Michelle Burke, melting hearts.
High as a kite.
A lot of people find Wet Hot American Summer a soulmate of equal quality to this. Which it isn’t. It’s cute though.