Slacker 1990
In 1991, a young filmmaker named Richard Linklater took his low-budget feature film “Slacker” to the Sundance Film Festival. It wasn’t technically his first film (that distinction belongs to 1988’s “It’s Impossible to Learn to Plow By Reading Books”), but it was the first of his films that anybody had seen, and it became a sleeper hit at the festival. As more and more people saw the film, it began to gather a cult following, due to its unorthodox structure and cast of bizarre, yet somehow relatable, characters. Over the next two decades, “Slacker” would influence countless independent filmmakers (most notably Kevin Smith, who has credited the film as a direct inspiration for 1994’s “Clerks”), help define a generation that was in need of a voice, and launch the career of one of the most unique and innovative auteurs in modern American cinema.

Depicting an ordinary day in the life of several seemingly random citizens of Austin, Texas, “Slacker” lacks any sort of coherent plot or narrative structure. Instead, the film takes a “fly on the wall” approach: Linklater pulls away from people in the middle of one conversation and drops in on people in the middle of another. Nobody really seems to be doing much of anything, or at least not anything productive; two crimes are committed, guys are working on their cars, a girl is looking through the volumes in a used book shop, a woman tries to sell a Madonna pap smear. But mostly people are just talking: about politics, personal growth, menstrual cycles, art. Linklater himself offers an intriguing monologue on the nature of dreams, and the mind-boggling possibilities of alternate realities. A JFK assassination enthusiast and UFO conspiracy theorist wax poetic on their chosen obsessions. An anarchist bemoans the fact that he never blew up the Texas State Capitol building. Themes of oppression and restlessness dominate their otherwise unrelated conversations, and yet none of the varied cast of characters seems interested in actually taking action to accomplish anything, thus giving “Slacker” its appropriate title.

Director: Richard Linklater
Cast: Richard Linklater, Rudy Basquez, Jean Caffeine
Country: USA
Genre: Comedy, Drama

Slacker (1990) Criterion Collection 2013 Edition
BD50 | 1080p AVC | 01:40:43 | 44.6 Gb + 3% rec
Language: English
Subtitles: English


Director Commentary - this audio commentary with director Richard Linklater initially appeared on Criterion's 2004 DVD release of Slacker.

Cast Commentary - this audio commentary also appeared on Criterion's 2004 DVD release of Slacker. It features cast members Rudy Basquez, Louis Black, Jerry Delony, Sarah Harman, Gina Lalli, R. Malice, Scott Marcus, Kathy McCarty, Scott Rhodes, John Slate, Kalman Spelletich, and Wammo. It was recorded in Austin in 2001 and 2004.

Crew Commentary - the third and final audio commentary features a conversation between Richard Linklater, director of photography Lee Daniel, and co-producer Clark Walker. It also initially appeared on Criterion's 2004 DVD release of Slacker.

It's Impossible to Learn to Plow by Reading Books (1988), Linklater's first full-length feature film, which he shot on Super 8mm. With an optional audio commentary, which was recorded for Criterion in 2004. In English, not subtitled. (86 min, 1080i).

No Longer/Not Yet - pages from the original script for Slacker, which were initially titled No Longer/Not Yet. All 47 pages are presented as digital images. (1080p).

Showing Life -
1. The Casting of Slacker - text-format statement from casting director Anne Walker-McBay. (1080p).
2. Cast Interviews - a collection of interviews with a few of the non-professional actors. In English, not subtitled. (15min, 1080i).

Taco and a Half After Ten - director Richard Linklater and his crew do some location scouting and have fun. In English, not subtitled. (12 min, 1080i).

Ain't No Film in That Shit - a collection of thirteen deleted scenes and alternate takes. In English, not subtitled. (29 min, 1080i).

Trailer - the original Orion Classics trailer for Slacker. In English, not subtitled. (3 min, 1080p).

"...End of Interview!" - footage from the Slacker tenth-anniversary in Austin, Texas, in 2001 (19:56)

Viva Les Amis Trailer - a trailer for Nancy Higgins' documentary film Viva Les Amis. (Les Amis was a legendary cafe in Austin, Texas loved by students, professors, artists, and slackers. Soon after Slacker was released, Les Amis went out of business. A Starbucks shop took its place). In English, not subtitled. (11 min, 1080i).

Woodshock - a 16mm short film shot by Richard Linklater and Lee Daniel in 1985. With a text-format prologue. In English, not subtitled. Color. (8 min, 1080p).

Slacker (1990) Criterion Collection 2004 Edition
2 x DVD9 | NTSC 4:3 | 01:40:08 | 14.7 Gb + 3% rec
Language: English
Subtitles: English


* The Film
• Audio commentary with Richard Linklater (director)
• Audio commentary with cast members Rudy Basquez, Jerry Delony, Scott Marcus, Gina Lalli, Louis Black, Sarah Harman, John Slate, Kathy McCarty, Kallman Spelletich, Scott Rhodes, R. Malice and Wammo
• Audio commentary with Richard Linklater (director), Lee Daniel (director of photography) and Clark Walker (co-producer)
• "No Longer Not Yet" - an early film treatment (text)
• "Showing Life" - casting tapes featuring select "auditions" from the over one-hundred-member cast, with an essay (text) from production manager/casting director Anne Walker-McBay (14:44)
• "Taco-and-a-half after 10" - home movies (12:01)
• "Les Amis" - trailer for a documentary about the landmark Austin cafe, Les Amis, which served as location for several scenes in Slacker (10:31)
• "Shooting from the Hip" - stills gallery featuring hundreds of rare behind-the-scenes production and publicity photos

• "It's Impossible to Learn to Plow by Reading Books" (1988), Linklater's first full-length feature, with optional commentary by the director (85:52)
• "Woodshock" (1985) - an early short 16mm film made by Linklater and Lee Daniel (7:19)
• "Austin Film Society" - information about this society, founded in 1985 by Linklater with Daniel, including early flyers from screenings
• "Ain’t No Film in That Shit!" - the working script of Slacker, including fourteen deleted scenes and alternate takes, with optional text notes on context (28:22)
• Original theatrical trailer
• "Slacker culture" - essay by Linklater (text)
• "...End of Interview!" - footage from the Slacker tenth-anniversary in Austin, Texas, in 2001 (19:56)