Richard Linklater may have made a splash with his 1991 debut Slacker, but fourteen years later, it remains an exercise in meandering self-importance. A series of barely-connected vignettes in which Austin, Texas 20-somethings discuss alternate realities, then-prez George Bush, JFK’s assassination, and the symbolic nature of the Smurfs, Linklater’s film captures the nonchalant lack of purpose that supposedly characterized college-age “Gen X” hipsters. The problem is that his characters – if narcissistic, one-dimensional talking heads can be labeled as such – are uniformly grating, and their supposedly quirky conversations about Scooby-Doo and Madonna’s pap smear create an atmosphere of unbearable pretentiousness. Unlike his animated 2001 mind-bender Waking Life, Slacker has neither any overriding thematic preoccupations nor a cohesive narrative thread tying its random scenes together, and the film’s cinematographic blandness merely augments its monotony. As a result, this early indie hit becomes a test of one’s tolerance for not-very-colorful individuals blathering on about whatever random nonsense pops into their heads. If I wanted to listen to coffeehouse-type intellectuals shallowly pontificating on uninteresting socio-political subjects, however, I’d just head to the nearest Starbucks.
I haven't seen this yet, and to be honest, I'm about to watch it based on the good reviews from other critics.
With that said, I can deeply appreciate your take on this and salute you for speaking the calm and direct truth about something that may have received higher accolades than it truly deserved.
Posted by: Philip | March 25, 2013 at 05:14 AM