This is a re-post from March 20, 2009. It was on a different blog that I had. When did I become someone who has 2 BLOGS, for Chrissakes? Anyway, I moved it to this one where I think it fits better. My other blog is about France. I’m going to make a bumper sticker that says that.

So, as I’m contemplating a move back to Austin, I decided to watch “Slacker.” Now, I saw “Slacker” at Dobie Mall when it came out. And I more or less liked it at the time. Part of the reason I wasn’t crazy about it was that I wondered why I wasn’t in it. I mean after all, I was in the THEATRE DEPARTMENT. All these people in this moving behaving so naturally were clearly NOT actors. I mean, what are their objectives? Have they had any speech training? I have created a memory that there was a posting about auditioning for “Slacker” on a bulletin board and that I opted not to go to the casting because I was too busy making a corset or playing a maid in “All’s Well That Ends Well” in a classroom. In truth, I don’t know that there was a posting about it, but there is one girl I knew who appeared toward the end of the movie and I was SHOCKED as to what she was doing in this film when I was certain she should have been memorizing a sonnet or something. I also remember thinking, “okay right. But when is something going to HAPPEN?”
But THIS time, I have fallen in love with this movie. I think it is so far ahead of its time. I do a lot of improvisation and this movie is one of the best improv shows I have never seen. One of the things I really enjoy about improv is the freedom we have to follow whichever character we find interesting and not feel the need to resolve anything. I have no idea if the film was improvised in any way, but it seems that way at times and to me, that’s good writing. And then there are things that I just plain LIKE about it: there’s a character who rambles on about what we have come to know now as Global Warming. His comments appear in a monologue about colonizing Mars (among other things), but they ring true in a way that Mr. Linklater could not have imagined. Unless maybe he is Al Gore. (A “Ron Paul for President” truck appears at about an hour in and my brother Tommy (who lives in Austin) is a supporter of him NOW.) I also appreciate that not a single person in the movie has a ridiculous accent. Too often now people from Texas are portrayed as idiots who drawl on about cattle and “little ladies.” But these Texans talk about the Kennedy assassination and Charles Whitman (two subjects that are profound parts of the rich history of Texas.) And, holy moly, the women in it are so natural. It’s shocking to watch with 2009 eyes and see how beautiful these girls are without all their fake boobs, hair extensions and botox. They look like aliens. It makes me sad to say that. Watching this movie is like looking at a moving (in both senses) photo album for me, because this is the exact time that I was in college at UT. Much of the area around the campus has changed, so it was like going back in time to see things like Les Amis, Quackenbushes, The Castilian, and oh my god, the Bagel Manufactory (where my friend Delicia worked) as I remembered them. I walked on those same streets near the Drag past The Varsity Theatre and The Bazaar as I went to my rehearsals and classes or my apartment in West Campus. Mr. Linklater gave me a gift that I didn’t even realize that I wanted. What a revelation. Thank you, sir.

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