Video on Demand — May 2014

Video pick of the month

Double Play: James Benning and Richard Linklater

My first encounter with Richard Linklater was through his Dazed and Confused. The film was of meteoric importance to me and my junior high peers. The soundtrack, which revived forgotten tunes by War and Foghat, got more play on our boomboxes than the Dr. Dre, Nirvana and Mariah Carey hits of the day. When a friend’s mom busted me for stealing her pack of smokes, I told her Dazed and Confused made me do it. We even nicknamed our pot dealer Slater after the stoner character played by Rory Cochrane and repeated his catchphrase, “Check ya later,” ad nauseam.

I suppose every American kid who grew up in the early to mid-90s has some allegiance to the film. It was sweeter and more compulsively watchable than what Tarantino and Fincher were offering, and more thoughtful and grown-up than other teen films. Sure, we watched and loved Clueless, but we never imagined it was our own world for a minute. I was about to go to high school and Dazed and Confused was the film I wanted to live. It wasn’t until much later, during senior year of high school, that I encountered Slacker at my suburban Blockbuster. The film was a huge revelation and over the next several years the name Richard Linklater came to mean a lot to me.

At some point — I can no longer pinpoint the precise moment — I discovered experimental cinema.

Click here to read the rest of diretor Gabe Klinger’s piece about filming James Benning and Richard Linklater.

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