Made In Austin, Day One:
An Evening with Richard Linklater
Featuring Slacker & subUrbia
If Austin is now known as a mecca for independent film-making, then no single man has done more to create this image (both by personal example and through his support of other filmmakers) than Richard Linklater. In his early twenties, he founded the Austin Film Society in 1985, a group that not only has brought the best in international cinema to his adopted hometown, but through its grant program, has assisted almost three hundred local filmmakers, keeping the indie spirit alive and well. Linklater’s movies are as fully fleshed, as chatty, as idea-filled, and thoughtful as any European art film, but also have a relaxed, unforced manner that makes them as personable as they are personal, as charming and warm as they are smart. Cinefamily is excited to have one of their favorite filmmakers, and a damned nice guy, for a conversation about filmmaking, Texas, and maybe a little BBQ.
Slacker - 9p
Doing more to promote the blessed “Keep Austin Weird” philosophy than any number of SXSWs could manage, Richard Linklater’s exceptional breakthrough 1991 film is as much a celebration of the Texas capital’s wholly unique flavor as it is the definitive portrait of a generation’s comfortable aimlessness. Slacker ditches convention narrative form as it follows dozens of bohemian Austin residents over a single day, through their routines of lollygagging, hanging out, walking around, and espousing their highly unusual, always-hilarious points of view. Daisy-chaining seamlessly from character to character through the city's coffee shops, bars, and sidewalks, Linklater’s inimitable vignettes (born from years worth’ of his jotting down snippets of overheard Austin weirdness) create a vivid, buzzing snapshot of a funky subculture not afraid to speak its mind on the values that define it. Celebrating its 20th anniversary, Slacker is as relevant today as ever -- and its ‘90s wardrobe looks pretty fresh to boot! Dir. Richard Linklater, 1991, 35mm, 105 min.
subUrbia - 11p
One of Linklater’s darkest and most urgent films, subUrbia perfectly captures an instantly-recognizable landscape where parking lots at convenience stores are the only hang-out spots, and self-destruction seems like the only viable career choice. For a group of endearingly aimless friends (Giovanni Ribisi, Nicky Katt and Steve Zahn), a typical night of drinking on the curb outside their favorite gas station and harassing the owner becomes transformative when a school-pal-turned-MTV-star rolls into town with his limo and his smokin’ publicist (Parker Posey) in tow, stirring up their discontent with life in the suburbs. By the time the sun comes up, friendships will have unraveled, weapons will be brandished -- and slam poetry will have been performed. An essential companion piece to Slacker’s more carefree do-nothings, subUrbia (penned by legendary playwright/performer Eric Bogosian) is a stark warning against letting slacktitude turn into destruction, and against stealing garden gnomes while drunk.
Dir. Richard Linklater, 1996, 35mm, 121 min.