American Graffiti would make a fine double-bill with Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused. Certainly, outside of the veneer of nostalgia there is in both films an air of sadness, of an innocence lost, although in Lucas’ film it is less pronounced. Not surprising, given that Lucas has always shown a strong desire to return to childhood, much like his good pal Steven Spielberg. What results then is a film with an brilliant sense of place and time—with some utterly beautiful cinematography to boot—and some strong performances, but a certain weightlessness to it. Lucas does not have nearly the same eye for social observation as Linklater does, and that is where the two films depart. Still though, I’ll take Chuck Berry over fucking Foghat any day.