Austin, Texas’ motto is Keep Austin Weird, and the film Slacker, by native Richard Linklater, definitely does it justice. It is a quirky indie film that seems more interested in showing the lives of average Austinites than making a bold statement. The film does not have a central plot or main characters. It follows various subplots and a whole multitude of characters. The first ten minutes of the film introduces at least eight people. It starts with a young man getting off the bus and catching a ride with a taxi. The taxi driver drops him off across the street from a hit-and-run accident. The young man goes to help the lady who has been hit, and a jogger joins him. She tells him to call the police. As soon as he does, he walks out of the scene. A man stops his car, gives the jogger his business card and drives off because he is in a hurry. Once the police are called, the jogger leaves the scene as well. Then the film follows a young man as he enters his apartment and receives a call about someone involved in an accident. Seconds later, the police arrest him. Two neighbors witness the incident, and one explains to the other that the man just ran over his mother. Then the film begins to follow one of the neighbors and so on. Some of the more memorable characters include a man who collects television sets, a woman trying to sell Madonna’s test results for a particularly intimate procedure and a man who befriends the person robbing his house. At the end, what the audience gets is a collage of strangely amusing scenes that give voice to the thoughts and beliefs of the average, yet weird, Austinite. The movie is lighthearted and surprisingly fast-paced, but due to its unconventional nature, it is definitely not for everyone.
- Richard Linklater, Rudy Basquez, Jean Caffeine, Jan Hockey, Stephan Hockey
- The Criterion Collection
- Richard Linklater