Presents a day in the life in Austin, Texas among its social outcasts and misfits, predominantly the twenty-something set, using a series of linear vignettes. These characters, who in some manner just don't fit into the establishment norms, move seamlessly from one scene to the next, randomly coming and going into one another's lives.
Slacker is an interesting cultural oddity, certainly an experience that I wasn't expecting. Throughout the film, I was reminded of the traditions of many great, canon filmmakers, whether it be the surrealistic nature of Bunuel, in particular the framing device that he employs in The Phantom of Liberty, or the non-narrative traditions of Godard. (It also wouldn't surprise me if this film later had an influence on Harmony Korine's Gummo.)
Slacker is essentially a day in the life of a vast group of characters. Each character has his own quirks, his own story, his own thoughts to share. The sort of paranoid, anti-government, anti-establishment theme that runs through the film helps depict an important setting and time period that allows…
A bunch of pretentious, unlikable dicknozzles wander around Austin for 90 minutes talking about stupid stuff.
And I loved it.
"I mean, there was nothing going on at all, Man. It was like The Omega Man. There was just nobody around."
When I first saw 'Slacker' I absolutely loved it, but since then I've noticed people aren't as high on it as I am, I thought I might have been wrong about it. On a Rewatch, I can safely say fuck them, I loved 'Slacker' even more this time around.
I'm a huge fan of Richard Linklater, I think he is an incredible writer whose dialogue is so realistic and so relatable. 'Slacker' displays his knack for listening to the ordinary people, everyday Texan weirdos and makes their every word as riveting as you can possibly imagine. And here I was thinking that I would never be entertained by someone talking about Madonna's Pap smear test.
Second watch now, and the second Linklater notch in the ''I was wrong'' cinema bedpost, Dazed and Confused will inevitably be the third when I get around to it later. This is another Linklater film that when I first stumbled upon it—knowing very little of its narrative and ideas—I thought would be the kind of dance floor I could really get down on. Yet in peculiar identical fashion, just like his previous film, I adored the ideas but not the execution, quickly palming it off as a failed experiment that somebody else—even myself—could have taken all the way to the bank. Rewatches like this make me very insecure about this here film 'hobby', maybe I should just give up watching…
When watching Slacker, I couldn't help but think of Kevin Smith's Clerks, in the way it's structured, and the general feel of the movie. Upon finishing Slacker, I looked it up, thinking the resemblance was too incredible if the two weren't in some way linked to one another. What I found out, was that Smith had indeed been inspired by Linklater, and quite possibly, if it weren't for Slacker, we wouldn't have seen Clerks appear three years later - and what a pity that would've been.
The fantastic quality that Slacker possesses, and that Smith brought with him in the making of Clerks, is the ability to make the viewer relate humongously to the characters, conversations and situations presented in…
"Sorry I'm late." "It's okay. Time doesn't exist."
#4 in Christmas Exchange
Hm. I guess this is the first Richard Linklater feel that really didn't work for me, and I'd say that's a direct consequence of the nature of the story. The film floats between a number of weird characters - some of which make you laugh, some make you uncomfortable, some make you smile, but, in my case, none of them made me care. The refusal to spend a prolonged amount of time with a character prevented me from developing any connection with them, and thus, I just didn't really care what I was watching. Some of the conversations were interesting, but I spent long lapses of time bored and disinterested.
I love the long takes, the…
After recently watching and falling in love with Before Sunrise (1995), I decided it would not be a bad idea to check out some more of Richard Linklater's work, thus bringing me to Slacker. It is definitely easy to see the progression from Slacker to Before Sunrise - this film contains lots of people walking and talking with a camera slowly following them and minimal editing, but Slacker plays almost like an anthology film. Here we have glimpses into lots of different lives, with each conversation playing out like a short story before we move onto the next set of characters. Of course, it therefore suffers from the same problem as anthology films - some stories are always going to…
In a way, it's Tarantino before Tarantino, without the violence. Very clearly a precursor to Waking Life, with similar writing and structure. Not as good though. Hasn't aged well. Quite funny at times.
n. the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness—an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.
If you want to reach back into the past and feel the 90s again, Slacker is one of the best ways to do it. It amounts to a clinic on how to immortalize a particular place and time using film.
"What're you doing?"
"Just hanging around, mostly."
Philosophize this! Or that. Or... anything and everything, really. A beautiful mosaic of Austin counter-culture circa 1990 by means of the pretentious, mostly quasi-intellectual musings of the members of said culture. Linklater creates such a vivid, lived-in universe; one that is perhaps easier to relate to than a lot of folks would care to admit. It's very 90s, but it's also very young. There's a universal youthfulness here; the sense that you know that world sucks, but deep in your heart you feel that it doesn't. That genuine optimism alone makes it eminently watchable, but most of the dialogue, even when it's total BS, is hilarious. "I once had a dream that I…
The only positive thing I can say about this film is that it inspired "Clerks"
Kevin Smith saw this and thought "This? is a film? ... I could TOTALLY do that"
People don't watch "The Godfather" and think "I could TOTALLY do that"
If this film wasn't in the Canon of historical cinema, I don't think I would have got passed the first 20 minutes. I've never been less interested in anything I've seen on screen. except perhaps "Eat Pray Love" - the only film in which I fell asleep IN THE CINEMA, and left 30 minutes in.
I'm having a visceral reaction to anything anyone is saying in this film. SHUT UP. what are you saying? what are you doing? What IS this? this is AWFUL. Goddamn.
I hate all you people.
Respect that this film got made. I've never made a film.
... I totally could though, if THIS is a film.
Reasonably entertaining, but it was very apparent that this was Linklater's first film. Repetitive and painted the picture that Austin is full of talkative paranoids. At times it was philosophical and engaging.
A complete stream of consciousness that bashes it's audience into submitting to it's own lunacy or jumping off the wagon early in the throws of hatred.