"I never liked school that much, I never fit into any kind of academic program. I never liked official systems of any kind. Without even thinking about it, I just realized that wasn’t the place for me. I saw it as a long-term process, my filmmaking. I knew it would be a long time coming and I didn’t want to be humiliated right off the bat."
In a sense, all of Linklater’s films are dreams in the way his verbose characters evoke alternate realities from an endless stream of thoughts, ideas, and stories, often engaging with those of others to create a sublime dialogue, nearly erotic in its hypnotism.
The America of SubUrbia is insular, separate from the rest of the world and wallowing in self-pity. And the ennui of suburbia has not changed: the 7-11 is still usually the only “public” space in town at which kids can hang out, the big box Wal-Marts and McDonalds still cannibalize the horizon.
It’s probably safe to say that no film ever found its audience better than Before Sunrise found the 17-year-old version of myself who went to see it on a first date in 1995. At the time, Richard Linklater’s name, if I had even heard it beforehand, probably wouldn’t have meant much to me.
Finding an appropriate distance from Slacker is essential to acknowledging its achievement, which is due in part to Linklater’s own careful negotiation of distance from his characters and their ideas—which, more often than not, are elaborate arguments for distancing themselves from others.