A nameless young character goes into travels to the country, meeting some acquaintances and strangers as well, having banal conversations, dedicating his existence into daily mundane ... See full summary »
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. Highlights include a UFO buff who adamantly insists that the U.S. has been on the moon since the 1950s, a woman who produces a glass slide purportedly of Madonna's pap smear, and an old anarchist who sympathetically shares his philosophy of life with a robber.Written by
Rick Gregory <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The Happy-Go-Lucky Guy that gets ripped off by the newspaper machine is lead vocalist, musician and founding member of Poi Dog Pondering. The tune that he whistles after he passes the Sidewalk Psychic is "Postcard From a Dream (Toast and Jelly)" from their first studio album, recorded in Austin. The woman that claims to have change but doesn't give it to him is Abra Moore, though she had left Poi Dog by then. See more »
The cab door is clear, but later sports a large sticker. See more »
Should Have Stayed at Bus Station:
[babbling to silent cab driver]
Man, I just had the weirdest dream - back on the bus there? Did you ever have one of those dreams that are completely real. I mean they're so vivid. It's just like completely real. It's like, there's always something bizarre going on, though. I have one about every 2 years or something. I always remember 'em real good. Like there's always someone getting run over, or something really weird. Um, one time I had lunch with Tolstoy. Another time I was a ...
See more »
Even though I've immensely enjoyed many of Richard Linklater's films (especially "Waking Life" and "Dazed and Confused"), I never had much desire to sit through Slacker. The title and the era made me anticipate this would be a lazily-crafted, self-indulgent, aimless exploration of the oh-so-forgettable ennui of 20-somethings.
Boy, was I wrong.
"Slacker" is actually a true "art film", a highly conceptualized storytelling experiment in the manner of mid-60's Godard. In fact, in many ways it seems patterned after Godard's "Weekend" -- a bold ambition for a young low-budget filmmaker if ever there was one -- with its long, fluid takes that seamlessly drift from one story to another with chance passings on Austin's sidewalks.
In many ways I found Slacker more interesting and more enjoyable than Godard's movie, though. Weekend ultimately boils down to Godard satirizing his society, while maintaining a dry, utterly unsentimental and unemotional attitude towards his characters. When you watch Weekend, there is always the sense that Godard is looking down his nose at his characters (however justifiably). Slacker has a more complicated relationship between Linklater and his subject. While there is undoubtedly a strongly satirical feel to many of the scenes (for example, the two apparently stoned guys debating the meaning of Saturday morning cartoons while they chain smoke in a bar), at the same time, the movie feels made from the inside. It's, maybe, a satirical self-portrait. In fact, since Linklater plays the first of the Slacker characters that we meet -- the cab fare spinning yarns about parallel universes -- it is in some manner quite literally a self-portrait.
All of that is a very academic way of saying what's viscerally obvious when watching Slacker - - it's funny and real and naturalistic at the same time that it is abstract, constructed and very obviously written.
I'm not sure what it all adds up to or if it's supposed to add up to anything. After all, this is the story of people who, with a couple of notable exceptions, can't seem to put their plans into action ("You're not on the list"), so it makes perfect sense that the movie in the end feels like it just wanders off a cliff instead of coming to an end. It would be a mistake to say that the movie captures a generation -- these are caricatures, without doubt -- but it does capture the flavor of the times as they rolled by on some particularly lazy afternoons.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this