Dazed and Confused XV: Rushmore

By Tony Schwab, Staff Writer After seeing “Rushmore,” it should be clear where you stand on Wes Anderson. It has his love of ambitious, socially awkward young people and accomplished, moody adults. The soundtrack is full of the second- and third-tier classic rock and folk that Anderson never tires of. Visually, the movie is less…

Dazed and Confused : The Big Lebowski

By Tony Schwab, Staff Writer “The Big Lebowski” is, of course, one of the great cult films. It is widely seen in a way that no other Coen Brothers film is, even though it shares much in common with the rest of them. It has a lovable loser as its hero, an elaborate crime plot,…

Dazed and Confused XVIII: The Last Days of Disco

By Tony Schwab, Staff Writer Whit Stillman’s The Last Days of Disco, like Metropolitan before it, is an elegy. Where -Metropolitan dealt with the end of the old style of preppy life, Disco deals with the decline and fall of the most hated of all music genres. The fact that neither of these trends are…

Dazed and Confused XVII: The Talented Mr. Ripley

By Tony Schwab, staff writer Anthony Mingella’s “The Talented Mr. Ripley” is an adaptation of a novel by Patricia Highsmith, who also wrote the novels that would become “Carol” and “Strangers On a Train.” All of these films share a dark fascination with luxury. Wealth is a consolation as its characters struggle, but it is…

Dazed and Confused XVI: Shallow Grave

By Tony Schwab, staff writer The ironically cheery song, playing over scenes of violence and destruction, seems to have been introduced to film by Stanley Kubrick in “Dr. Strangelove,” with the world exploding to “We’ll Meet Again” by Vera Lynn. He took this a step further in “A Clockwork Orange,” and perhaps even further in…

Dazed and Confused XV: Fargo

By Tony Schwab, staff writer The Coen brothers love to leave a great deal unsaid. So many of their movies, like “The Man Who Wasn’t There to Hail” or “Caesar” hint at some grand force operating just behind the scenes. It is grand and all-encompassing even as it is cruel, harsh and ironic. This vague…

Dazed and Confused XIV: Lost Highway

“Lost Highway” is intensely, aggressively dark in a way that is exceptional for David Lynch. Usually Lynch shows a happy, innocent exterior that covers up evil. Here, there is no cover. Everyone and everything seems sick. L.A. is not a dream factory, as it is in “Mulholland Drive” and “Blue Velvet.” The only movies getting…

Dazed and Confused XIII: Crumb

Almost all artist documentaries are at least partially tortured-artist documentaries. They assume that we already know about the work; otherwise, what would be the point of watching? They aim to go beyond what we know and love about x visionary and find what is underneath. Because happiness can only exist in film by contrast, it…

Dazed and Confused XII: Fight Club

Warning: Of course there are spoilers. Fight Club is not a movie to be taken as seriously its creators intended. It tries to make philosophical points that are very hard not to dismiss once one is an adult. But this does not mean that it cannot be a great film. Much of the best art,…

Dazed and Confused XI: Safe?

Everywhere you look there are signs of decline — personal, societal and environmental. It is in music, films, television, ads and newspapers. To stay sane, everyone looks for a way to overcome the feeling of decay that surrounds them. “Safe,” one of the very best films of the 90s, is about two different attempts, both…

Dazed and Confused X: The Virgin Suicides

“The Virgin Suicides” is a slightly campy version of a Terrence Malick teen movie. There is real beauty in the way that it makes a tragedy out of both the five sisters who kill themselves and the boys who were in love with them. There are also many points where it becomes clear that Sofia…

Dazed And Confused IX: Pulp Fiction

One great feature of filmmaking, and art in general, in the 1990’s was a sense of aimlessness. Very often, the movies are almost void of story, and what story that is there is basically absurd. In “Kicking and Screaming” the plot hinges on whether Grover will call his girlfriend; in “Dazed and Confused,” on having…