A generation of film makers unleashed their unique albeit slightly askew view upon a minority of cinema goer’s in the 90’s. Much like; The Breakfast Club and Some Kind of Wonderful did before them, they defined and spoke for a generation as did the Slacker sub-genre which emerged in the 90’s. A kleptic mix of profanity, easy talking, coming of age drama and nonsensical profoundness, a genre for which only a few give due credit, and one I have only recently come to fully appreciate, hence said post, but the more I thought about it the more I realised how woven the ideals of a slacker is within society and how a generation of so called slackers have held their two fingers up to the system and stuck to their guns, born of comic mytho’s, and pulp television they have unleashed some of the most manic and brilliant visions upon the cinematic landscape. But let me begin at the beginning of my train of thought, as lucid and unformed as it may be, lets just start there and hopefully let you know what the hell I’m going on about.
First up I love Clerks, and Mallrats and Dogma and Jay and Silent Bob, films which epitomise what I’m talking about, films filled with characters and themes and created by film maker who alike give zero fucks yet have a shit tonne to say, from the simplest of ‘dude’ moment’s, cause hey sometimes you need to let those hard to reach chips go, to redefining your vision of a film, Skywalker was a complete dick. A while back, as in sometime last year, I decided to watch Chasing Amy, a film which many regard as Smith’s best. However I was massively disappointed discovering a conceited and dull film until, dare I say it as I know for sure one particular friend will not let me live this down, until recently. But first allow a little context, of late I have found myself jobless, and the only efforts I make are to go to the kitchen or from my bed to the sofa downstairs to sit in front of yet another screen as my mother would declare, but thankfully I now have a place of my own and she only gets to berate me once in a while. But in this perpetual state of watching movies, playing video games and reading comics I decided to re-watch it. And my god was I surprised, praise be to the thirteenth apostle, yeah it was still childish and a little dumb but that was the goddam point, it looked at life as we all see it then flicked down that rose-tinted visor as we all love to do before allowing our true nature to once again rear it’s pretentious and naive face again that we have tried so hard to pretend wasn’t a part of us. And this is what Kevin Smith does yeah he’s rude and crude with 80 percent of dialogue revolving around fucking but there is always a profoundness to his films, Clerks teaching us to get a move on with our goddam lives because it moves fast, yeah it’s nice to stop and stare for a while but sometimes we stare for too long. An ideal further cemented in the re-cut Clerks X. Yeah these movies seem like the ramblings of a person beyond blazed who laughs at the thought of boobs but that’s their beauty. For generations films have been telling us to enjoy life, but we have to do it this way and really find ourselves and become one with the universe, yeah fuck you Skywalker. But Smith and Linklater, with films like Slacker and Clerks told us otherwise. We are alive but we just got to get up off our arses and enjoy it how we want to, not get hooked up on society ideals and to look at the world a little differently but you still got to pay the bills and deal with the usual bullshit society imposes. A slew of films throughout the 90’s showed us the way just like they did in the 80’s and 70’s but we were finally uncensored and didn’t suffer needless stereotypes. The cool kids were the geek’s, who loved movies and comics and Mary-Jane turned you into the love child of Shakespeare and Einstein. These films threw out the rules and stuck to their guns and like their creators stuck to the fringes of society, reluctantly being drawn into the inner circles of the populous but at least they didn’t drop those two fingers.
While these films epitomised these ideals they also allowed for a generation to stick to their roots and over the years would become some of the biggest names in the industry and creating some of the most beloved entertainment of all time. They stuck it out in the 70’s and 80’s being only given a handful of films they could truly love from Superman to Star Wars and yet they’d stick to their ‘basements’, yeah thanks for that cinema; nerds love basements, in order to be themselves but finally they were allowed a voice and we got everything we ever wanted. Films filled with easy going profanity, profound ponderings, meta in jokes, obscure but perfectly placed comic references all the while reflecting our angsts and torments and finally allowing us to be us, without the need of some metaphorical journey of self discovery, although many of these films allowed many to experience such journeys. I’m not just talking about Smith and Linklater here but the like of Joss Whedon, Christoper Nolan, Peter Jackson, JJ Abrams, Bryan Singer, David Fincher and of course Tarantino while these guy’s never delivered a so call slacker genre film, they are those titular slackers and nerds who love cult television, comics, dungeons and dragons, and pop culture the ones who deliberated over the origins of the force before the plethora of cannon fodder that filled in that void or attempted to replicate the E.T bike jump in their garden’s and now these nerds and slackers have transformed the face of cinema and have allowed a generation of slackers and geeks and nerds to stand nicely in society still with their two fingers up.
That is all.
I’m not even supposed to be here today.