'Slacker 2011' Debuts

A suitably rowdy crowd cheered on the affectionate homage

Heather Kafka in the Geoff Marslett-directed scene,
Heather Kafka in the Geoff Marslett-directed scene, "TV Room"

A couple of weeks ago, I referred to Slacker 2011 as a "potential trainwreck," to which co-producer Daniel Metz mock-sniffed, "That's not very nice." Well, he was right, and my speculation turned out to be totally wrong: Slacker 2011 was not only not a train wreck, but a very tender tribute indeed.

Slacker 2011 premiered last night to a sold-out, suitably rowdy crowd at the historic Paramount Theatre. After an introduction by co-producers Metz, of the Alamo Drafthouse, and Bryan Poyser, Director of Artist Services at the Austin Film Society, Mayor Lee Leffingwell came out to hand-deliver a proclamation, followed by a short hello from Slacker writer/director and AFS cofounder Rick Linklater. It's safe to say that the 24-some filmmakers who reshot Linklater's film, scene by scene, were if not directly mentored by the Austin director, then at least inspired by him and the work he's done with the Austin Film Society. Adding further poignancy to the evening, Linklater called on original cast members in attendance to stand and be recognized, which they did, to raucous applause.

So what of the movie itself? There were a few draggy spots, sure (as well as some unfortunate issues with the film skipping), but mostly it made for a charming, sometime very funny snapshot of contemporary Austin. Local post-production house Stuck On On accomplished what seemed like a herculean task – creating a linked feeling between the scenes, with their wildly different shooting styles. Standout scenes included Berndt Mader's ingeniously conceived "Been on Moon" – and how compelling is Chris Doubek just walking down a street? – as well as Geoff Marslett's heady "TV Room," featuring a puppet by Don Hertzfeldt (and discussed at length here), and PJ Raval's penultimate scene "Rantings." That one starred local performance art provocateur Paul Soileau on a slow-moving bike, and boy did he kill.

Slacker 2011 will screen Sundays in September at the Alamo South Lamar. See showtimes and ticket info here.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

Slacker 2011, Richard Linklater, Daniel Metz, Bryan Poyser, Lee Leffingwell, Chris Doubek, Berndt Mader, Geoff Marslett, Don Hertzfeldt, Paul Soileau, PJ Raval

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