Chris Willman
September 17, 2004 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Slacker

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
runtime
97 minutes
performer
Richard Linklater, Louis Mackey, Scott Marcus, Teresa Taylor
director
Richard Linklater
distributor
Orion Home Video
genre
Comedy

We gave it an A-

No one’s made going for a walk a more appealing cinematic proposition than Richard Linklater, who broke out of the indie pack with this semicomedic, non-narrative day in the life of a hundred or so Austinites, most of them underemployed and on foot. Criterion wasn’t slacking off when it put together this retrospective, which recounts how Linklater arrived at the loosely linked vignettes, wondering ”What if characters just spoke their interior monologues out loud?” That the movie’s eccentrics mostly talk at, not with, their often uninterested strolling partners is the source of most of its humor — as well as its annoyance factor for nonfans, who may reasonably prefer the truly conversational saunters of his later masterpieces Before Sunrise and . . . Sunset.

EXTRAS Linklater participates in solo and crew commentaries, but a third track featuring a dozen of the ”actors” (largely Austin musicians) is even more fun. Deleted scenes, screen tests, script outlines, reunion footage, and a still-more-experimental ’88 feature of Linklater’s (It’s Impossible to Learn to Plow by Reading Books) pack the two-disc set.

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