Slacker (1990) Movie Review: The Second movie by Richard Linklater

Hey to all the strangers and some known people!

How strange is this feeling? The words that I am writing (typing) behind the closed door of my cozy and comfortable room is soon going to be/is being witnessed by you. And, if these words had consciousness (or mind), then they would have observed you in your ‘now’ as you go by your day. And, then, these words would go on to witness other people who end up stumbling on them.

And, here is the link to the movie trailer ‘Slacker’:

Richard Linklater, the director/writer of this movie ‘Slacker’, does exactly what these words are doing silently now but with a camera and of course with a nicely choreographed script and actors. He records a day in the life of the people living in Austin, Texas while they talk about philosophy, politics, art, crime, love, sex, relationships, etc. The camera stays with a character and their context for a while and then goes on to follow another character and their context. Thus, dispersing the concept of a protagonist and a storyline.

Watching this movie feels like sitting at a tea stall on the roadside and watching people go by while talking about their experiences and opinions on life. So, if you are a person who is a silent observer or like watching people, this movie will be a delight.

Strangely, it feels like I am following Richard’s work for a long time but in reverse. I mean, I started watching his more latest movies, such as- ‘Boyhood’, ‘Waking Life’, and ‘Before trilogy’ (Before Sunrise, Before Sunsets, Before Midnight). And now, ultimately, I have reached one of his earlier works, and its credit goes all to Ron who shared his favourite movies with me so that I can review them.

As I have seen many of his earlier works, I found this movie to be an unanimated version of ‘Waking Life’ but with few differences. Firstly, of course, the setting of these two movies are very different. ‘Waking Life’ is set mainly in a lucid world (in a trance-like state) whereas, this movie is in the real world. Secondly, in ‘Waking Life’ the camera follows the protagonist as he witnesses the world around him, whereas here, the viewer witnesses the life of various people. Apart from that, the theme and the style of these two movies are quite similar.

Personally, I enjoyed watching ‘Waking Life’ more than ‘Slacker’. As in ‘Waking Life’, there is a string of consistency and familiarity (that is the protagonist) but, in ‘Slacker’ there are none which made me drift in and out of the movie.

However, Richard is a self-taught and an experimental director, and watching his movies is always a worthwhile experience. So, even though, I was moving in and out of this movie quite a bit, I enjoyed experiencing a movie that was unconventional, laidback, and a way ahead of its time. It was also a film that gave recognition to one of my favourite directors.

Now, if you like this type of experimental movies, then I am sure that you would enjoy the work of another experimental and unconventional director, Ronojoy Sircar (Ron). Like most of Richard Linklater work, Ron’s work also has a trance-like quality to them, which I am sure, that you would enjoy as I do.

Here is the link to the movie directed by Ronojoy:

Not only that to help you understand the concept of ‘Viewing’ he has also written a book called Remember, Repeat, Inhabit. In this book, he tries to understand what it means to be a ‘Viewer’. Yes, I too thought there was nothing to that concept apart from absorbing materials that was placed in front of you, apparently, not. There is a lot more, and it’s worth a view.

Now, write in the comments section below, what was the highlight of your day? Share a conversation/moment that got stuck to your mind. And, please don’t forget to subscribe/follow.

Have a great day!

Writer: Deepika Bhaduri
About: Movie Anatomie

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