Austin, Film

Slacker 2011

Austin, Texas is a film city. It is not always easy to find film work in, but it’s an excellent place to write your script or make your movie (see why here).

Moviemaker Magazine named Austin, Texas the #5 place to Live, Work, and Make Movies In.
We host arguably the #3 film festival in the U.S. (SXSW) and a respectable up-and-coming festival that features big Hollywood movies and players (Austin Film Festival). We have studio directors who got their start in Austin and continue to shoot their productions in here (Richard Linklater, Mike Judge, and Robert Rodriguez) and we have a plethora of indie filmmakers whose work has been seen at every festival on the planet, literally.

So needless to say, some pretty interesting and creative stuff comes out of Austin.

A perfect example of this is the “reimagining” of Richard Linklater’s perennial indie classic Slacker, which will be premiering tonight at the historic Paramount Theater on Congress Avenue. If you went to film school, you know that Slacker is touted as revolutionizing independent filmmaking. Script? Real actors? Money? Who needs them! With no significant credits under his belt, Linklater made Slacker in 1991 for $23,000 in Austin with friends and locals and went on to sell it to Orion Pictures, garner $1 million at the box office, and launch a profitable career in Hollywood (Dazed and Confused, Before Sunrise/Before Sunset, A Scanner Darkly). How do you like them apples?

So what makes the Slacker remake so special? 24 local filmmakers each directed a scene in the movie. Have you ever heard of such a thing? I haven’t! How cool is that? The film hasn’t even premiered yet and is already getting buzz all over the nation.

My boyfriend, Geoff Marslett, was one of the 24 filmmakers (he’s pictured above). There was a lot of local talent represented in this film: PJ Raval, Miguel Alvarez, Bradley Beesley, Bob Ray, Jay Duplass, and Ben Steinbauer. In typical Slacker style, each scene was shot on a small budget with donated time, services, and talents from cast and crew. It was a fun shoot and Geoff’s particular scene, scene #16 “TV Room”, features local talentJames McMurtry (Larry’s son), John Dee Graham, Heath Kafka, and Don Hertzfeldt. It is an exciting project that really brought the Austin filmmaking community together. Hopefully you already got your tickets because this 1300-seat screening is sold out! The Alamo Drafthouse will be showing screenings for the month of September and hopefully you’ll see Slacker 2011 at a festival near you!

Check out my thoughts and experiences with Slacker and Slacker 2011 below from CultureMap:

The movie Slacker was not my bag. Like most people who moved to Austin, I eagerly rented the 1991 Richard Linklater film hoping that I would become acquainted with my new home through the quirky storyline and true to life characters depicted in the movie. 
Instead, I was terrified.
Slacker made Austin look like a glib, overcast landscape filled with conspiracy theorists, pap smear collectors and parent killers. Not only did I have difficulty getting through the movie, I ended up rocking myself to sleep that night…. (continue)
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  • Reply jdel August 31, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    i have heard about Slacker all my life but for some reason never watched. i have seen clerks, seen Dazed and Confused, and now I am adding Slacker to my netflix cue. Thanks for sharing this info. If i lived in Austin, i would love to see the remake.

  • Reply Kate August 31, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    i dido what jdel said. will definitely be giving it a look!

  • Reply Tim August 31, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    Slacker is my goto movie when people talk about the "good ol' days" in Austin. I think paired with the "Hotel San Jose" documentary it does the best job of explaining how much of Austin used to be weed strewn lots, heaps of trash, crime, and a lack of options.

  • Reply Anonymous September 1, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    I don't think you know what literally means.

  • Reply Mitch September 14, 2011 at 2:52 am

    I so love Slacker. I watched it twenty years ago and I watched it this year. Absolutely incredible both times around.

    The thing is, I love Austin, and Slacker captures its zeitgeist. The only other notable piece of art I know of that captures Austin is 'Hotel San Jose' and a thin little book called ‘Austin Nights’ by this dude who goes by herocious. I found it in Domy Books. I think it's even available for loan in the APL.

    If you loved/love Slacker, I guarantee you’ll love this book. It’s timeless.

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