Every film is a cultural artifact. As singular works of art, movies are their own self-contained contributions to popular culture, but their often essential inclusion of things like music, fashion, and slang within their own narratives puts them into a unique space – art wrapped around art, culture enveloped in culture. It’s why even bad period-set films are so fun to watch, as seeing canny cultural representations is almost always amusing, if not a bit intriguing. Blame it on nostalgia, shared memory, or even a good old-fashioned affection for otherwise forgotten pop culture snippets, but movies that work hard to accurately depict a time period or an era always have an extra it of built-in entertainment.
The 2013 Huntsville High School school year commenced the week prior to the Labor Day holiday. On the first school Friday, a pep rally for the forthcoming football season was held in the school gymnasium. According to The Item, the paper of record in Hunstville, this Hornets squad was thirsting to improve on their 7-3 season of a year ago. Much like it does in the rest of Texas, high school football rules the town of Huntsville.
In the pep rally crowd, mixed among the football gods, seniors already counting the days until graduation and freshman still overwhelmed by the high school experience, could be the next voice of a pop music generation or the author of the next great american novel. Anyone of those kids could turn out to be a state senator or serial killer. The future possibilities seem limitless for the class of 2014. In 1976, an adolescent Richard Linklater sat among the faces in the Huntsville High.
Born in Houston, Linklater's family settled in Huntsville where the future self-taught writer-director would attend the local high school and accumulate some of the story ideas for his future movies. It was during this time that Linklater would cross paths with three men who were -- or claim to be-- the inspiration for key characters in Linklater's coming-of-age stoner classic 'Dazed and Confused.' Released in theaters on September 24, 1993, the movie celebrates it's 20th anniversary this month.
No, Richard Linklater isn't really taking a peaceful stroll in the woods with Robert Redford and Nick Nolte to wax existentially about the environmental crisis and how it pertains to the human experience (we wish) -- 'A Walk in the Woods' is the name of Linklater's latest project, with Redford and Nolte attached.
In 1995, Richard Linklater directed 'Before Sunrise' with Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy. In 2004 the three reunited for a sequel called 'Before Sunset.' It appears that another nine years later the cycle will be complete with a third 'Before' movie.