Scenes that I Love: The Low Rider Montage From Dazed and Confused

Today, the Shattered Lens wishes a happy 62nd birthday to Texas’s own Richard Linklater!

In order to celebrate this day, here’s one of my favorite scenes from Linklater’s 1993 film, Dazed and Confused.  Not only does this montage introduce the viewer to the suburban Texas nightlife of 1976 but it’s also perfectly set to War’s Low Rider.

And, of course, it features that classic line, “It’d be a lot cooler if you did.”

6 Directors Who I Hope Win An Oscar In The Next Ten Years

Richard Linklater

Richard Linklater, the cinematic poet of Texas life, spent 12 years making one film. He took an enormous risk, starting an ambitious project with no guarantee of how it would end or that if would even end up being anything worth releasing. He assembled twelve years of footage and turned it into Boyhood, one of the best films of the century so far. For that, Linklater received the greatest acclaim of his career and, in 2015, he received his first Oscar nomination for Best Director.

Unfortunately, he then lost to a guy who made a gimmicky and pretentious movie about an actor producing a bad play.

My sincere hope is that Richard Linklater will get another chance. Though Last Flag Flying and Where’d You Go Bernadette? didn’t exactly live up to the hopes that some had for them as far as the Oscars were concerned, Linklater is a director who seems to have more than few great films ahead of him. Here’s hoping that, by 2031, the Oscars will have honored Richard Linklater.

Here are five more filmmakers who I hope will soon win their first directing Oscar.

The Safdie Brothers

Good Time and Uncut Gems are two of the most intense films ever made. In fact, they were probably too intense for the Academy, as neither one got the Oscar recognition that they deserved. Hopefully, the Safdies will continue to shock audiences while making great films and the Academy will eventually honor their efforts.

Joe Wright

Joe Wright is a veteran director, one who has directed two best picture nominees — Atonement and Darkest Hour — but who has yet to pick up a nomination for best director. (Personally, I would have nominated him for both Hanna and Anna Karenina.) Wright has two films coming out this year — the long-delayed Woman In The Window and the intriguing Cyrano. Of the two, Cyrano seems like the most likely Oscar contender. I can’t wait to see both of them!

Joanna Hogg

Joanna Hogg is a British director who was responsible for one of the best films of 2019, The Souvenir. She’s got a sequel on the way, The Souvenir Part II, and a murder mystery called The Eternal Daughter. With The Souvenir, she proved herself to be a sensitive director who has a great eye for detail and the ability to capture unforgettable performances. I can’t wait to see what she does in the future.

Debra Granik

Winter’s Bone and Leave No Trace are two films that get better each time that I watch them. Debra Granik was responsible for both. In Winter’s Bone, she directed Jennifer Lawrence in what is still Lawrence’s best performance. In Leave No Trace, she introduced the world to Thomasin McKeznie. Much as with Joanna Hogg, I look forward to seeing everything that she does in the future.

Kelly Reichardt

One of the most consistently interesting and challenging directors around, Kelly Reichardt deserved a nomination this year for her fantastic work on First Cow. Though Reichardt may have been snubbed this time, it’s hard not to feel that the Academy will get another opportunity to honor her.

Finally, I want to mention Emerald Fennell. I didn’t include her on this list because she’s nominated this year. Regardless of whether she wins tonight or not, Emerald Fennell is a filmmaker whose future work I will always make it a point to seek out.

4 Shots From 4 Films: Special Richard Linklater Edition

4 Shots From 4 Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films lets the visuals do the talking!

Today, we wish a happy 60th birthday to Texas’s greatest filmmaker, Richard Linklater!

That means that it’s time for….

4 Shots From 4 Films

Slacker (1991, dir by Richard Linklater)

Dazed and Confused (1993, dir by Richard Linklater)

Before Sunset (2004, dir by Richard Linklater)

Boyhood (2014, dir by Richard Linklater)

Film Review: Slacker (dir by Richard Linklater)

“Wow,” I thought as I recently rewatched Richard Linklater’s first film, Slacker, “Austin hasn’t changed at all!”

That, of course, isn’t true.  Slacker was filmed in 1990 and first released in 1991.  It’s 20 years old and the entire world — including Texas in general and Austin in specific — has changed quite a bit since then.  Slacker is a film about the people of Austin, following one person and then another as they walk down the streets of Austin and, in classic Linklater fashion, have conversations about everything from sex to pop culture to conspiracy theories.  It’s a film that was made before social media and no one carries a phone with them.  The majority of the people the we meet in Slacker would, today, probably be too busy posting 100-tweet threads to actually get outside and walk around the city.  (And, in the age of social distancing, the idea of walking up to a stranger on the street and having a conversation is not only unthinkable to a lot of people but illegal in some places up north.)  Slacker was also made long before SXSW turned Austin in a national hipster hotspot.  There are definitely hipsters in Slacker but they’re all of the Texas variety, as opposed to the Silicon Valley-on-vacation variety.

That said, Slacker does contain an essential truth about Austin that has never changed.  Austin has always been a town that has welcome the eccentrics, nonconformists, and self-styled intellectuals.  As both the capitol of the greatest state in the union and a college town, Austin has a unique style all of its own.  It’s a place where all of the contradictions of Texas — the fierce independence mixed with a strong belief in tradition — meet.  Some people refer to it as being “The People’s Republic of Austin” and the town is considerably more liberal than the rest of the state.  In general, though, Texas liberalism has never been quite as annoying or authoritarian-minded as the rest of America’s liberalism.  There’s a strong Libertarian streak that runs through even the most liberal parts of Texas and it seems somewhat appropriate that Ron Paul makes a cameo appearance of sorts in Slacker:

Slacker is one of those films that’s beloved by film students because it’s very easy to watch it and to think, “Wow, anyone could do that!”  Of course, the truth of the mater is that there is a very definite structure to Slacker.  Despite the way it may occasionally seem, the film is not just a bunch of random footage of people wandering by each other while discussing the Moon landing, the Kennedy assassination, and Madonna’s pap smear.  Instead, each conversation builds on the other until, eventually, Slacker presents a portrait of a community and a generation that has created a culture based on television, movies, and obscure historical references.  Slacker is a film that has been very carefully constructed to appear to be random but there’s a definite structure to it.  The film may look like it was made by someone who just turned on a camera and wandered around for day but Linklater definitely knew what he was doing and I’ve seen enough bad attempts to duplicate Slacker that I can definitely appreciate what Linkler accomplished.

The film, which had a largely nonprofessional cast, is full of interesting and, if you live in Texas, familiar characters.  The bitter hitchhiker, for instance, will be familiar to anyone who has ever had a conversation with an older inhabitant of a college town.  The conspiracy theorist who is writing his own book about the Kennedy assassination can be found in just about every independent bookstore in Texas.  I know people who actually took a class taught by the old man who (foolishly, in my opinion) idolized Leon Czolgosz.  As I said, the film is 20 years old but it captures the essence of Austin so perfectly that it remains timeless.

Slacker was Richard Linklater’s first film.  Appropriately, he’s also the first person to appear in the film and the first one to speak.  (He had a dream while on a bus.)  Linklater has gone on to become one of Texas’s greatest filmmakers.  At a time when cinematic and political conformity is too often celebrated, Linklater remains a unique and authentic voice.

And it all started with a film about Austin, a film called Slacker.

4 Shots From 4 Texas Films: Dazed and Confused, Primer, Tree of Life, A Ghost Story

4 Shots From 4 Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films lets the visuals do the talking.

Today is Texas Independence Day!

In honor of my home state, here are….

4 Shots From 4 Texas Films

Dazed and Confused (1993, dir by Richard Linklater)

Primer (2004, dir by Shane Carruth)

Tree of Life (2011, dir by Terrence Malick)

A Ghost Story (2017, dir by David Lowery)

6 Good Films That Were Not Nominated For Best Picture: The 1990s

Continuing our look at good films that were not nominated for best picture, here are 6 films from the 1990s.

Dazed and Confused (1993, dir by Richard Linklater)

 An ensemble cast that was full of future stars, including future Oscar winners Matthew McConaughey and Ben Affleck.  A killer soundtrack.  A script full of quotable lines.  Dazed and Confused seemed like it had everything necessary to score a Best Picture nomination and perhaps it would have if the film had been set in Los Angeles instead of the suburbs of Atlanta.  Unfortunately, Richard Linklater’s classic was overlooked.

Casino (1995, dir by Martin Scorsese)

Martin Scorsese’s epic gangster film had all the glitz of Vegas and Joe Pesci to boot!  Despite being one Scorsese’s best, the Academy largely overlooked it, giving a nomination to Sharon Stone and otherwise ignoring the film.

Normal Life (1996, dir by John McNaughton)

Life, love, crime, and death in the suburbs!  John McNaughton’s sadly overlooked film featured award-worthy performances from both Ashley Judd and Luke Perry and it definitely deserves to be better-known.  Unfortunately, the Academy overlooked this poignant true crime masterpiece.

Boogie Nights (1997, dir by Paul Thomas Anderson)

Paul Thomas Anderson first made a splash with this look at the porn industry in the 70s and 80s.  Along the way, he made Mark Wahlberg a star and briefly rejuvenated the career of Burt Reynolds.  Though both Reynolds and Julianne Moore received nominations, the film itself went unnominated.  Oh well.  At least Dirk Diggler got to keep his award for best newcomer.

Rushmore (1998, dir by Wes Anderson)

Though the film was nominated for its screenplay, the Wes Anderson classic missed out on best picture  Even more surprisingly, Bill Murray was not nominated for his funny yet sad performance.  Murray would have to wait until 2003’s Lost In Translation to receive his first nomination.  Meanwhile, a Wes Anderson film would not be nominated for best picture until Grand Budapest Hotel achieved the honor in 2015.  (That same year, Boyhood became the first Richard Linklater film to be nominated.)

10 Things I Hate About You (1999, dir by Gil Junger)

This wonderful take on Shakespeare not only introduced the world to Heath Ledger but it also proved that a teen comedy need not be stupid or misogynistic.  Because it was viewed as being a genre film (and a comedy to boot!), it didn’t get any love from the Academy but it continues to be loved by film watchers like me!

Up next, in an hour or so, the 2000s!

Celebrate Texas Independence Day With My Favorite Scene From Bernie!

Happy Texas Independence Day!

Down here in Dallas, we celebrate Texas Independence Day by going down to Dealy Plaza and laughing at all the northern tourists sweating and talking about how they’re about to faint because they can’t handle a 75 degreee day.

But, if that sounds a little bit too mean-spirited to you, you can celebrate by watching my favorite scene from Richard Linklater’s Bernie!  I know that I’ve probably shared this before but what can I say?  I really love this quick lesson about my home state:

By the way, that line about “Dallas snobs,” always got a big laugh from the audiences at the Dallas Angelika.  It’s important to have a sense of humor.

Don’t worry, Vermont.  You’ll learn how to laugh at yourself someday.


What If Awards Season Began And Lisa Totally Missed It? Here Are The Gotham Nominations!


As proof of how busy I’ve been over the past few days, just consider this: On October 20th, awards season kicked off and I totally missed it!

That’s right.  On October 20th, the nominations for the 2016 Gotham Awards were announced.  The Gothams honor independent films and they actually have some pretty strict guidelines regarding what they consider to be independent.  So, a lot of this year’s potential Oscar nominees are not eligible for the Gotham Awards.

That said, over the past few years, the Gothams have slowly emerged as a somewhat helpful precursor.  While getting a Gotham nomination does not guarantee any film an Oscar nomination, it certainly doesn’t hurt.  That may especially be true this year as 2016 has, for the most part, not been the great cinematic year that 2015 was.  With no real favorites having yet to emerge, every precursor counts.

So, with that in mind and just a few days late, here are the Gotham nominations!

Best Feature

Certain Women
Kelly Reichardt, director; Neil Kopp, Vincent Savino, Anish Savjani, producers (IFC Films)

Everybody Wants Some!!
Richard Linklater, director; Megan Ellison, Ginger Sledge, Richard Linklater, producers (Paramount Pictures)

Manchester by the Sea
Kenneth Lonergan, director; Kimberly Steward, Matt Damon, Chris Moore, Lauren Beck, Kevin J. Walsh, producers (Amazon Studios)

Barry Jenkins, director; Adele Romanski, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, producers (A24)

Jim Jarmusch, director; Joshua Astrachan, Carter Logan, producers (Amazon Studios)

Best Documentary

Kirsten Johnson, director; Marilyn Ness, producer (Janus Films)

I Am Not Your Negro
Raoul Peck, director; Rémi Grellety, Raoul Peck, Hébert Peck, producers (Magnolia Pictures)

O.J.: Made in America
Ezra Edelman, director; Caroline Waterlow, Ezra Edelman, Tamara Rosenberg, Nina Krstic, Deirdre Fenton, Erin Leyden, producers (ESPN Films)

Keith Maitland, director; Keith Maitland, Megan Gilbride, Susan Thomson, producers (Kino Lorber, Independent Lens)

Josh Kriegman, Elyse Steinberg, directors and producers (Sundance Selects and Showtime Documentary Films)


Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award

Robert Eggers for The Witch (A24)

Anna Rose Holmer for The Fits (Oscilloscope Laboratories)

Daniel Kwan & Daniel Scheinert for Swiss Army Man (A24)

Trey Edward Shults for Krisha (A24)

Richard Tanne for Southside with You (Roadside Attractions and Miramax)

Best Screenplay

Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan (CBS Films)

Love & Friendship, Whit Stillman (Amazon Studios)

Manchester by the Sea, Kenneth Lonergan (Amazon Studios)

Moonlight, Story by Tarell Alvin McCraney; Screenplay by Barry Jenkins (A24)

Paterson, Jim Jarmusch (Amazon Studios)

Best Actor*

Casey Affleck in Manchester by the Sea (Amazon Studios)

Jeff Bridges in Hell or High Water (CBS Films)

Adam Driver in Paterson (Amazon Studios)

Joel Edgerton in Loving (Focus Features)

Craig Robinson in Morris from America (A24)

Best Actress*

Kate Beckinsale in Love & Friendship (Amazon Studios)

Annette Bening in 20th Century Women (A24)

Isabelle Huppert in Elle (Sony Pictures Classics)

Ruth Negga in Loving (Focus Features)

Natalie Portman in Jackie (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Breakthrough Actor*

Lily Gladstone in Certain Women (IFC Films)

Lucas Hedges in Manchester by the Sea (Amazon Studios)

Royalty Hightower in The Fits (Oscilloscope Laboratories)

Sasha Lane in American Honey (A24)

Anya Taylor-Joy in The Witch (A24)

* The 2016 Best Actor/Best Actress and Breakthrough Actor nominating panels also voted to award a special Gotham Jury Award for ensemble performance to Moonlight, “in which actors at all levels of experience give outstanding performances that speak eloquently to one another both within and across each chapter of the story.” The awards will go to actors Mahershala Ali, Naomie Harris, Alex Hibbert, André Holland, Jharrel Jerome, Janelle Monáe, Jaden Piner, Trevante Rhodes, and Ashton Sanders.




Back to School Part II #56: Everybody Wants Some!! (dir by Richard Linklater)

(For the past three weeks, Lisa Marie has been in the process of reviewing 56 back to school films!  She’s promised the rest of the TSL staff that this project will finally wrap up by the end of today, so that she can devote her time to helping to prepare the site for its annual October horrorthon!  Will she make it or will she fail, lose her administrator privileges, and end up writing listicles for Buzzfeed?  Keep reading the site to find out!)


Well, here we are!  It’s taken nearly four weeks but we have reached the conclusion of Back to School Part II!  I started this series by taking a look at Teenage Devil Dolls.  Along the way, I’ve reviewed everything from Andy Warhol’s Vinyl, A Clockwork Orange, Animal House, and Can’t Hardly Wait to Hollywood High and Keith.  I’ve even found an excuse to review four different Degrassi films!  I’ve had a lot of fun but, with October approaching, I’m happy to be finishing up this series of reviews so that I can concentrate on the TSL’s annual horrorthon!

So, without further ado, let’s take a look at Richard Linklater’s Everybody Wants Some!!

Everbody Wants Some!! generated a small flurry of excitement when it was first released back in March.  Not only was it Linklater’s first narrative film since the critically acclaimed Boyhood but it was also advertised as being a spiritual sequel to Dazed and Confused.  Like Dazed and Confused, Everybody Wants Some!! was a period piece that would follow an ensemble of Texas teenagers over the course of one long weekend, the big difference being that Everybody Wants Some!! would take place in 1980 (as opposed to 1976) and it would deal with college freshmen (instead of high school juniors).  There were even a few articles that pointed out that several of the actors in Everybody Wants Some!! physically resembled some of the actors in Dazed and Confused.

(Seriously, Glen Powell looks like he could be Matthew McConaughey’s younger brother.)

The film was well-reviewed by critics, even though few of the reviews were as rapturous as the reviews that greeted previous Linklater films like Boyhood and Before Midnight.  As for the audience reaction … well, Everybody Wants Some!! was not exactly embraced by audiences.  I saw it at the Alamo Drafthouse and the theater was nearly deserted.  (Considering that the Alamo’s audience prides itself on embracing independent film, a near-empty theater for a showing of a Linklater film is not a good sign.)  The few people in the theater seemed to feel that the film went on for too long and that it needed a stronger plot.  That’s a complaint that I’ve heard a lot of people make against Everybody Wants Some!!

It’s not a complaint that I agree with.  Those who complained that Everybody Wants Some!! was essentially plotless obviously haven’t seen many Richard Linklater films.  Though Linklater has made his share of commercial films, his more personal work — like Everybody Wants Some!! — is often plotless.  That’s actually one the keys to Linklater’s aesthetic.  He’s more interested in recreating a specific time and place and observing how different characters react to their environment than he is in telling conventional stories.  A film like Everybody Wants Some!! is less about telling a story with a definite beginning and end and more about capturing a very specific experience.

And, on that level, the film definitely succeeds.  Watching Everybody Wants Some!!, you literally do feel as if you’ve stepped into a time machine and you’ve been transported to the past.  Jake (Blake Jenner), a college freshman who is attending fictional Southeast Texas College on a scholarship, may be the main character but, ultimately, he’s not that important.  More important is seeing how people lived, interacted, and thought in 1980.  Everybody Wants Some!! is a time capsule film.

(Apparently, it’s a bit of an autobiographical film as well.  Cinema snobs like me tend to forget that, before he became a filmmaker, Linklater was a jock who, like Jake, attended college on a baseball scholarship.  As much as we may not want to admit it, not all artistic geniuses spent high school writing angsty poetry about eating disorders.  Some of them played sports.)

Everybody Wants Some!! follows Jake and his fellow baseball players over the course of the weekend before classes begin.  One night, they end up in a redneck bar.  Another night, they end up at a punk club.  They go to a drama department party.  They practice baseball.  They all drink.  Some of them smoke weed.  Some of them get laid.  And, at the end of the weekend, two of them sit down in their first class of the semester and promptly fall asleep.

One problem that I did have with Everybody Wants Some!! is that, as good as job as it does of creating a time and place, it didn’t necessarily convince me that it was a time in which I would want to live in.  As I stated earlier, Everybody Wants Some!! was promoted as being a spiritual sequel to Dazed and Confused.  However, Dazed and Confused featured a greater variety of characters.  Practically everyone of note in Everybody Wants Some!! is a member of the school’s baseball team.  True, some of them are smarter than others.  Some of them smoke weed.  Some of them are ultra religious.  But, ultimately, they’re all jocks and they’re all frat boys.  How much you enjoy hanging out with these characters will depend on how much tolerance you have for jocks, frat boys, and their hyper-masculine rituals.  Whenever I’ve seen Dazed and Confused, I’ve thought to myself that if I had been alive and in high school in 1976, I would have wanted to be friends with at least a few of the characters.  On the other hand, if I had been alive and in college in 1980, I would have gone out of my way to avoid that baseball team.

(And, as a result, I probably would have missed a chance to meet Richard Linklater!  There’s a lesson to be learned there.)

Ultimately, though, Everybody Wants Some!! succeeds because, even if the characters aren’t particularly likable, the film itself does capture the feeling and the excitement of having your entire future ahead of you.  Admittedly, there’s a hint of melancholy running through the film.  One character is revealed to be a 30-something imposter who regularly uses a false identity to enroll in different colleges because he loves to play baseball but he knows that he’ll never succeed in the major leagues.  Throughout the film, there are hints that none of these baseball players are ever going to be as successful as they are during that one particular weekend.  But, ultimately, the film tells us that the future doesn’t matter.  What matters is that, for that one weekend, they had their entire future ahead of them and it seemed like anything was possible.

Everybody Wants Some!! may not be Linklater’s best but it definitely deserves to be seen!

(And that concludes Back to School!  Thank you everyone for reading!  Love you!)


4 Shots From 4 Films: Watership Down, The Lord of the Rings, When The Wind Blows, A Scanner Darkly

I’m in the mood for animation.

4 Shots From 4 Films

Watership Down (1978, directed by Martin Rosen)

Watership Down (1978, directed by Martin Rosen)

The Lord of the Rings (1978, directed by Ralph Bakshi)

The Lord of the Rings (1978, directed by Ralph Bakshi)

When the Window Blows (1986, directed by Jimmy Murakami)

When the Wind Blows (1986, directed by Jimmy Murakami)

A Scanner Darkly (2006, directed by Richard Linklater)

A Scanner Darkly (2006, directed by Richard Linklater)