A twenty-eight year old film club Austin hipster named Richard Linklater is shooting his second feature film, Slacker. Six years prior, Linklater co-founded "The Austin Film Society" where mentors such as New York City critic George Morris were able to teach film. Despite being a college dropout, Richard Linklater took all of this alternative education and community and made a film that includes a cast of characters familiar both with the movie theater and the movie camera. The explicit references to filmmaking and film viewing is a chorus that subtly runs through Slacker, as well as in Waking Life, and Boyhood; however there are additional implicit references to the concepts of filmmaking and film viewing in these films as well.
For the past century, watching film has been a growing element of our culture, with new approaches to the medium arriving every year. In what could be considered an "experimental" film, Slacker is a relatively narrative-less film told through a series of vignettes. The very first movie we see in Slacker is a home video being projected from an 8mm film projector, while a man gets arrested for running over his mother. More powerful is the fact that the home video is actually from the director's own childhood. Later in the film, an arguing couple arrives late to a movie theater, forcing them to return later for a subsequent showing. Film is also mentioned in conversation several times in Slacker. An antagonistic bartender defends the virtues of motion pictures to a photography purist, and later a JFK assassination conspiracy theorist starts a conversation with a girl by mentioning an "anthropology of ethnographic film" class they had both taken. Cinematic conspiracy theories also run deep in this film. A paranoid, yet talkative conspiracy theorist preaches in one scene about how a particular sci-fi film he watched is a secret prophecy reflecting the hidden reality of covert government interplanetary colonization.