Alright, Alright, Alright

Melissa Maerz. Harper, $26.99 (464p) ISBN 978-0-06-290850-6
In this exhaustively researched debut, Vulture founding editor Maerz weaves an intricate oral history of Richard Linklater’s 1993 cult classic film Dazed and Confused. Based on more than a hundred interviews with Linklater, the film’s cast, studio executives, and others, Maerz digs into Linklater’s childhood; the success of his previous film, Slackers; and production details, including the casting of then-unknowns Ben Affleck and Matthew McConaughey. Open hedonism and drama among the young cast (“behind the scenes, these kids were unleashed”) made for a rowdy on-set experience, and Linklater was later hit with class-action lawsuits by real-life characters Bobby Wooderson, Rick Floyd, and Andy Slater, who felt they were misrepresented in the movie. Maerz insists that it is “nearly impossible” not to identify with the film’s characters or situations, but also scrutinizes the reasons behind the film’s glaring lack of diversity (“Texas was still pretty segregated, even in the ’70s”) and shines a spotlight on behind-the-scenes misogyny (“There’s a demeaning of women that goes on that’s just normal”). Maerz’s debut is—much like Linklater’s film—inconclusive, but it’s one any cinephile would be happy to check out. (Nov.)
Reviewed on : 09/14/2020
Release date: 11/01/2020
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 432 pages - 978-0-06-290851-3
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