Richard Linklater's debut feature is a comic kaleidoscopic portrait of the quirky characters stuck in a college town (it's Austin, Texas, but it could stand for hundreds of such places), a devilishly clever and endlessly inventive film that overcomes its nothing budget with scene after hilarious scene of short, sharp cinematic shots. Structured something like Luis Buñuel's The Phantom of Liberty, Slacker is a comic series of character pieces, each lasting a few minutes before the camera picks up and follows someone, perhaps simply an extra in the scene, to the next conversation. Characters spout off theories on everything from JFK and Charles Whitman (we even get an eerie glimpse of the water tower he climbed for his killing spree) to Elvis and UFOs, and more (wanna buy a Madonna pap smear?) on our bohemian tour of a condensed day-in-the-life. Linklater lets the characters set the pace but provides a loose, almost imperceptible rhythm to the film as a whole, giving a kind of structure to what seems like a series of improvisations. But the heart of the film is the freewheeling array of obsessed, self-absorbed, or simply lost souls wandering streets and coffee shops ready to talk your ear off about absolutely nothing. Killing time has never been more fun. --Sean Axmaker
Yoo-hoo, it's Steve Pasternack, looking for Angela! Angela, please!
Do I f***ing know you?
Uh, I lent Angela my notebook, because I take such world "famous" notes. So I was wondering if I could... are you busy with something?
Yeah. I was masturbating.
Heh. Hoo! Masturbating. In the dorms. Well, that's what you get when you go to art school.
We have been getting screwed by the system. The system that forces us guys to like girls. All right? We're getting pushed into this. What if we just take the girls out of it? We can have our own system, it's a counter-system. And then, you do things together, you swim, you row, you... boat, you eat, you stink. We can just be guys! You can have sex, you can do it, you know, many guys at a time, but it's not gay.