Time still doesn’t exist, but 15 traditional earth years have indeed passed since the debut of Slacker, Richard Linklater’s 1991 ode to deep thinkers, do-nothings, anti-Boomer ‘shroomers and Austin, Texas. What better way to celebrate than with Brian Raftery’s authoritative oral history in Salon?
Herewith, a few morsels: Linklater (who’d later helm Dazed and Confused, School of Rock, A Scanner Darkly, etc.) reveals just how in-the-crux Slacker was: “It was that next spring of ’91 [after shooting the movie] that I got sent Doug Coupland’s book — they wanted us to be on Sonya Live to talk about 20-somethings. I thought Generation X was so funny and smart and moving. I hung out with Doug in New York; a week later we were on this stupid show. And then Nirvana hit.”
And here he is on Baby Boomers and how Slacker viewed them: “We’ll forever be in their shadow, because there are so f—ing many of them. They’ve geared everything toward their own needs. It’s a little disgusting. They’re the Worst Generation!”
Was Slacker influential? I’ll let Raftery take that one: “The film’s imprint can be found everywhere, from the pop-theory culture-bots in Kevin Smith’s Clerks to the Seinfeld gang’s chatty diner get-togethers.” Not to mention the legions who didn’t see Slacker in theaters, but experienced it — repeatedly — on video over the next decade, eking its still-powerful aesthetic into American youth’s groundwater like so much strontium.
Still haven’t seen Slacker? No matter: If you’re between 20 and 40, you’re under the ineluctable influence of “the movie that defined indie film during its busiest decade — and the first Siskel & Ebert-endorsed flick to confuse the hell out of your parents.”
addCredit(“Slacker: Kobal Collection”)