Hear the Mix Tapes Given to the Cast of Dazed and Confused

Jake Rossen
Criterion / Criterion

Music plays a huge role in the films of Richard Linklater (Slacker, School of Rock, Boyhood), so it’s no surprise the director makes use of it to get his cast and crew ready to shoot. The Criterion Collection just released a sample of the tapes he circulated to the cast of 1993’s Dazed and Confused, a tribute to high school life in 1970s Austin.

You can check out a playlist of some of the tracks (including "Sweet Emotion" by Aerosmith and "Nights on Broadway" by the Bee Gees) on Spotify. Equally interesting is the accompanying letter Linklater sent to the cast—including Matthew McConaughey, Parker Posey, and Ben Affleck—in advance of their arrival to begin production.

Dazed and Confused went on to become a cult classic admired for its low-key approach in depicting the transition from high school into something resembling adulthood. "This is a good film," wrote Roger Ebert, "but it would not cheer people up much at a high school reunion."

[h/t The Film Stage]