I thought of one more small thing, concerning the last scene.
People made fun of that last scene where they take shrooms and go hiking in Big Bend. But I liked this last scene. It captures that feeling that, on the one hand, the past is past, but on the other hand, the past is always present, all of it, all layered on top of each other. As if the whole movie actually takes place over the course of about a second or two, in 18-year-old Mason’s mind, and we’re seeing the images that exist there in that span of time. I think all adults constantly have that feeling, right? That your entire adult life is sort of a mask, and you’re really 20-year-old you who’s traveled forward in time to see how it all turned out, and also you’re 15-year-old you, and 6-year-old you, and etc., all at once? You don’t actually even need shrooms for this!
Question: is it impossible to talk about a Richard Linklater movie without feeling like you’re executing a Linklater monologue pastiche?