Slacker (1991)


Director – Richard Linklater

Writer – Richard Linklater and cast (improvised)

Richard Linklater is the current golden boy of Hollywood, garnering massive attention with the success of his film Boyhood, but we knew that way back when he released his seminal opus Slacker, didn’t we? Slacker is a cultural artifact that helped to define 1990s culture, in both its look and horizontally laid back attitude. The goofy, garish 1980s died with this film, and the wry, sardonic 1990s found its husky, stoned out voice.

This isn’t just a time capsule of snapshot vignettes though. It features deeply perceptive characters and a free flowing style that gives it a real floating and dreamy Austin, Texas feel. Linklater commented that the film was all about the city itself, how it lives and breathes, and that’s really what comes across in the film. Linklater represents Austin in all its burnt out glory. The philosophy of mistrusting authority and bumming around instead seeps out of the film and into the minds of the generation that absorbed it. Smart, urbane, earthy and quirky, the film sets the standard for realistic cinema verite, and completely restructures film narrative while it’s at it.

Here’s one of the many highlights:

Apparently a lot of this Austin has disappeared now, so Linklater did well to capture the spirit of the time and the place in his film. An irreverent classic.

TL-R

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