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Richard Linklater’s “Dazed and Confused” sequel bites the dust.

Richard Linklater’s “Dazed and Confused” sequel bites the dust. (photo)

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“Dazed and Confused” is effectively beloved by everyone who’s seen it — including me — so I got uber-excited about the prospect of Richard Linklater making a “spiritual sequel.” And now it’s dead on the ground.

It was apparently called “That’s What I’m Talking About,” in honor — we presume — of the kind of stoned logic of the original, where that phrase was the highest form of praise you could offer. But Linklater couldn’t raise the $14 million necessary to get the project off the ground, at least not without casting already completed. Now it goes on the backburner, to be filed away for possible future re-excavation.

In terms of how a “Dazed” sequel might work, it doesn’t make that much of a difference if it’ll be resurrected now or later: 1980 is 1980 no matter when you film it, and no one from the original cast would be reappearing (aside from Matthew McConaughey, who can never truly age, apparently).

“Dazed” is a dorm-room staple — one of the few that’s also widely beloved on the critical side — but it was pretty much a theatrical flop that only gained traction when people had it at home to sneak up on them. With the exception of “School of Rock,” that’s been true of all of Linklater’s movies: they underperform theatrically, then — at least in some cases — take on new life later.

I suppose Linklater’s work is too unassuming to really take viewers by storm in the theater, yet genial enough to stick later. In that respect, he’s kind of like Wes Anderson, whose movies up til now have never done that well in theaters but find a healthy, less profitable afterlife. That probably wasn’t Linklater’s career plan, but that’s kind of how his movies ended up — and, for the moment, it appears he can no longer keep working that way. It’s kind of moronic: surely there’s a big enough audience for this kind of thing, even if “spiritual sequel” isn’t the easiest marketing tagline.

But mostly this makes me wonder if Linklater’s been cornered. Since “School of Rock,” his movies have been financial underperformers (if, in the case of “A Scanner Darkly,” probably another dorm-room wonder), except for an ESPN documentary called “Inning by Inning: A Portrait of a Coach” no one seemed to know about. It’s like his unofficial financial model has been discovered and found lacking. If Linklater got tagged — unfairly — as a slacker filmmaker, it has to be said his movies followed the same model financially. And now they’re not allowed to wait years for a following.

[Photo: “Dazed and Confused,” Gramercy Pictures, 1993]

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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