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Life Lessons From Richard Linklater's Beautifully Complicated Heroines

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    We're super excited about the release of Everybody Wants Some!! which looks like loads of fun (it must be – it has two exclamation points in the title!!) Described as a sort of spiritual sequel to Dazed and Confused, one of the best coming-of-age films of all time, Everybody Wants Some!! is written and directed by Richard Linklater, who is also responsible for other favourites including the Before Sunrise series, School of Rock, and, most recently, Boyhood. What an oeuvre!

    One of the stand out things about his films are the brilliant female characters in them. In an age in which Hollywood is accused of never writing properly rounded women, Linklater continually delivers nuanced, difficult, devastating, loving, complicated, hilarious women. Here are some things we learned from some of our past favourite characters.

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    Kaye in Dazed and Confused

    In this scene Kaye lacerates her friends for buying into the TV show Gilligan's Island when it's actually "the male pornographic fantasy." In a conversation that would still ring true today she preaches: "You're basically alone on a deserted island with two readily available women. One, a seductive sex goddess type. The other... a healthy girl-next-door type with a nice butt. So guys have it all – the Madonna and the whore. Women get nothing!" Ain't that the truth.

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    Darla in Dazed and Confused

    OK, so she's totally mean and spiteful. But does she give a shit? She never cares about chirpsing boys, instead she's too busy raising hell. Air raid, fresher! Being a bitch never looked so fun.

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    Céline in Before Sunset

    Spending one night together in Vienna, two strangers, Céline and Jesse, wander the city and start talking about love.

    "I feel this pressure to be a strong and independent icon of womanhood and not make it look like my whole life is revolving around some guy," she tells him. "But loving someone and being loved means so much to me." And so she perfectly lays down so many modern women's constant inner battle.

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    Céline in Before Sunset

    Having been reunited in Paris a decade later, Céline and Jesse take a drive so they can spend more time together on his short trip. All of a sudden, truths pour out of Céline's mouth, and she accuses him of ruining romance for her.

    "I don't feel things for people anymore," she tells him. "In a way I put all my romanticism into that one night, I was never able to feel all this again. Somehow this night took things away from me and I expressed things to you and you took them with you and it made me feel cold."

    Heartbreaking stuff. And haven't we all wondered if after losing our first true love we lose a little bit of ourselves too?

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    Principal Mullins in School of Rock

    Played by Joan Cusack, the school principal is an uptight, no-fun geek. That is until Jack Black takes her to a bar and reminds her of her youth by putting on Stevie Nick's "Edge of Seventeen". Never let age and responsibility make you forget the part of you that dances wildly when everyone's watching.