Self-taught writer/director Richard Linklater was among the first and most successful talents to emerge during the American independent film renaissance of the 1990s. Typically setting each of his movies during one 24-hour period, Linklater's work explored what he dubbed "the youth rebellion continuum," focusing in fine detail on generational rites and mores with rare compassion and understanding while definitively capturing the twenty-something culture of his era through a series of nuanced, illuminating ensemble pieces which introduced any number of talented young actors into the Hollywood firmament.
Born in Houston, TX, in 1960, Linklater suspended his educational career at Sam Houston State University to work on an offshore oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico. He subsequently relocated to the state's capital of Austin, where he founded a film society and began work on his debut short film, 1987's It's Impossible to Learn to Plow by Reading Books. Three years later he released the sprawling Slacker, an insightful, virtually plotless look at '90s youth culture that became a favorite on the festival circuit prior to earning vast acclaim at Sundance in 1991. Upon its commercial release, the movie, made for less than 23,000 dollars, became the subject of considerable mainstream media attention, with the term "slacker" becoming a much-overused catch-all tag employed to affix a name and identity to America's disaffected youth culture.