Director: Richard Linklater
Screenwriters: Richard Linklater

Institute History


What would happen if you gathered 100 anonymous people and asked them to help you make a movie about a subculture of directionless drifters and dreamers in your hometown? If you were as inventive as Richard Linklater, the result would be Slacker. Slacker could be subtitled "A Day in the Life of Austin, Texas." Linklater’s camera whimsically follows a succession of people as they go about the business of doing nothing. They are bright and articulate and haven’t a clue about where they’re going. Among the most colorful are an anarchist who wants to blow up the Texas legislature, a man obsessed with Jack Ruby and the Kennedy assassination, a woman who hopes to make her fortune by selling Madonna’s pap smear, and Linklater himself, who babbles nonstop to a totally disinterested cabdriver about alternate realities. He treats them all with a mix of ironic insight and affection.
Slacker played exactly 20 years ago at the 1991 Sundance Film Festival and became one of its sleeper hits. As for Linklater, he was no slacker. He went on to make Before Sunrise, SubUrbia, Waking Life, Tape, Before Sunset, and Me and Orson Welles, among others, most of which screened subsequently at the Festival.

— Barbra Bannon

Screening Details

As you use our Online Archives, please understand that the information presented from Festivals, Labs, and other activities is taken directly from official publications from each year. While this information is limited and doesn't necessarily represent the full list of participants (e.g. actors and crew), it is the list given to us by the main film/play/project contact at the time, based on the space restrictions of our publications. Each entry in the Online Archives is meant as a historical record of a particular film, play, or project at the time of its involvement with Sundance Institute. For this reason, we can only amend an entry if a name is misspelled, or if the entry does not correctly reflect the original publication. If you have questions or comments, please email [email protected]