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Film / Slacker

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"I may live badly, but at least I don't have to work to do it."

Slacker is a 1991 experimental film by Richard Linklater.

Set and filmed in Austin, Texas, it depicts a wide variety of slackers, paranoid conspiracy theorists, street philosophers, and other freaks and misfits as they go about their daily lives. The camera gravitates to a different group of people in every scene, giving the film a unique stream-of-consciousness style and painting a picture of the counterculture of the time. It was selected for preservation by the Library of Congress, so it must have done that right, at least.

Generally regarded as an important influence on the '90s indie film scene, specially dialog-heavy "mumblecore" movies. It was a direct influence on a then-22-year-old Kevin Smith and inspired him to make his own low-key microbudget flick.

Differs from The Slacker. See My Dinner with Andre for the film's inspiration, and Gummo for a film with a somewhat similar concept but very different execution.

Slacker provides examples of:

  • Self-Made Orphan: A woman near the beginning is mowed down in the street by a car driven by her son. He's picked up almost immediately.
  • Trust Me, I'm a Doctor: "You should quit traumatizing women with sexual intercourse. I should know. I'm a medical doctor. I own a mansion and a yacht."
  • Visible Boom Mic: Three times:
    • During the dialog between the Ultimate Loser and Stephanie from Dallas,before the Madonna Papsmear Girl arrives, the boom mic appears briefly above them.
    • Boom mic and the pole are visible at the top left of the screen when Steve finds out he's not on the guest list.
    • When "GTO" drops off "True Call", the shadow of the boom mic is visible on the car as it drives past.
  • Who Shot JFK?: A woman who goes into a bookstore runs into a Conspiracy Theorist who recommends different books about the assassination (including Rush to Judgement, the first big one to challenge the Warren Report), and he also mentions he's working on his own book on the assassination.