Director: Richard Linklater
Stars: The Whole Cast
Year Released: 1991
So like Spoilers or you know… whatever
In 1989 armature Texan director Richard Linklater set out to make a film with little more than a 16mm camera and a twenty-three thousand dollar budget. From those humble beginnings, he created a film unlike any I’ve seen before. It’s a film with no main character and no real plot , but it still manages to be interesting. That movie is “Slacker” and talking about it means talking about its unique structure, “Slacker” begins by following a young man (played by Linklater himself) who arrives at an Austin bus station. This guy catches a cab home and regales his captive driver with a story of a dream he had. Once Mr. “Should Have Stayed at the Bus Station” arrives home (yes, that’s how he and the rest of the cast are listed in the credits) the camera stops following him and starts following someone he met in the street. “Slacker” continues on in this manner, following one of the many weirdoes in Dallas until the meet or pass by someone else and the camera decides to follow them.
This host of misfits include a disgruntled grad student (aren’t they all), a violent agitator giving out tee shirts (“Remember, terrorism is the surgical strike capability of the oppressed”), a group of guys symbolically destroying their stuff to get over losing their girlfriends (that never works guys, though admittedly when I did it, it was someone else’s stuff) and a woman who has faith in groups and describes then deconstructs half the arguments on the internet before the internet even existed (You know, that’s what I hate: when you start talking like this, like you just pull in these things from the shit you read, and you haven’t thought it out for yourself, no bearing on the world around us, and totally unoriginal. It’s like you just pasted together these bits and pieces from your “authoritative sources.” I don’t know. I’m beginning to suspect there’s nothing really in there.).
While “Slacker” is quite well shot for a low budget movie, the real draw in this type of film is the dialogue. If you haven’t figured it out yet, this movie is almost endlessly quotable and you’ll likely be remembering bits and pieces of it for months afterward. “Slacker also avoids one of the common problems of dialogue-heavy movies, the possibility that you won’t find the main character interesting, by not having one. This, unfortunately, can lead people to continue on watching even though they don’t like the movie just to see what happens next and then feel cheated at the end. My advice to any would-be watchers is to give this movie thirty minutes. if it hasn’t hooked you by then you should just cut your losses and turn it off.
Fortunately, I enjoyed “Slacker” a lot, even though I didn’t like all its characters. The conversations can range from funny to profound and I was actually invested in the stories of some of the characters. “Slacker” to me, is like wandering around a college town on a summer day and just enjoying meeting new people. So if you like strange conversations about strange topics by strange people (like me). Wake up at the crack of noon, pour yourself a bowl of cheerios and goof off with “Slacker”.
Did I like the movie: Yes
Would I watch it again: Yes
Would I buy it: Yes
What will you be doing when the revolution comes: doing what I do every day: Trying Not To Die