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He has delved into 70s slacker culture for his new movie Dazed and Confused, but RICHARD LINKLATER tells Bob McCabe this is more than a nostalgia trip.

aving recently passed the touchstone age of 30, you’d be forgiven for thinking writer and director Richard Linklater is feeling nostalgic for his youth. After all. he is a filmmaker credited with defining a generation in his first film. the underground classic Slacker. Now with his second movie Dazed and Confused. he takes us back to the last day of high school 1976, a time when it didn’t really matter ifyou were stoned everyone still dressed really badly!

To Linklater’s credit, his vision of the past is by no means suffused with a sepia tint. ‘I don’t like nostalgia.’ he says. ‘1 think it’s non- productive and not a good way to be thinking. I wasn’t personally nostalgic for the period at all. I was excising some demon from my past so I couldn’t go back and say “You know. that was the best time of my life.” I was going. “That was a really bad point in my life that I want to touch on and maybe learn something about myself. who I was at that time?" I was mixed. There were fun moments but the overall atmosphere at that time wasn’t a healthy one.’

‘I don’t like nostalgia. I think it’s non-productive and not a good way to be thinking.’

Linklater may well claim his movie is not nostalgic. More truthfully. it is, but without the weight of hindsight-heavy sentiment.

‘The drug choices were simpler,’ he says. ‘There was just pot and I guess that was all anybody could afford. It gets a good groan when one guy buys a whole bag of marijuana and it’s $15. The whole audience just goes. “Oooohh”. That was true at the time, marijuana coming in from Mexico to the US was really cheap. It was actually cheap marijuana too - you had to smoke about four joints just to get a high on it. That kind of got me off the hook, it being a period piece ’cause it seemed I could say it’s a teenage rock ’n’ roll comedy that takes place in the 70s you know I‘m having to get the studio money here. Then all the drug use and excessive alcohol could be written off to a time and a place. Of course, it doesn’t go on now. Right.’

Linklater began his first movie five years ago.

Its influence would ultimately be felt way , .2;

beyond its humble beginnings in the director’s I i r I I ii i V Dazed, confused nd enjoying every Inlnuto ollt

8 The List 7—20 October 1994