Features and Columns · Movies

Gen Z Deserves More Slacker Movies

Here’s a video essay that makes a case for finding the Gen Z equivalent of Richard Linklater.
Reality Bites
By  · Published on September 7th, 2022

Welcome to The Queue — your daily distraction of curated video content sourced from across the web. Today, we’re watching a video essay that looks at why Gen Z needs more slacker movies.

Taking its name from one of its inaugural entries (courtesy of the slacker movie king Richard Linklater), the slacker genre hit its stride in the 1990s. It was something in the air: a byproduct of Gen X’s defiant resistance to giving a fuck. Legends, the lot of them.

From The Big Lebowski to Reality Bites, slacker movies lean deep into entropy. They spotlight fringe figures with either no, or non-traditional ambition. But the slacker is not a nihilist. They have principles. And their refusal to participate in the rat race makes chilling with them feel like a much-needed short vacation.

For whatever reason, the genre tapered off in the 2000s, turning the principled slacker into the butt of a joke rather than the star of their own films. And as the video essay below convincingly argues, we need to find our way back to this generation’s slacker movie. In the age of the anti-work and lying flat movements, need more movies that disrupt the meritocracy myth and validate the value of fucking off and doing nothing.

What does a slacker movie that isn’t just about white dudes look like? How can non-generationally wealthy folks coast when it’s impossible to live off minimum wage? How do you chill when you’re always just trying to survive? What does abiding look like under these conditions?

Watch “Gen Z needs more slacker movies”:

Who made this?

This video essay on why we need some new slacker movies is by Niche Nonsense, a video essay channel that provides, well, niche nonsense. The channel was only created in mid-December of 2021. And you can get in on the ground floor and subscribe here.

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Meg Shields is the humble farm boy of your dreams and a senior contributor at Film School Rejects. She currently runs three columns at FSR: The Queue, How'd They Do That?, and Horrorscope. She is also a curator for One Perfect Shot and a freelance writer for hire. Meg can be found screaming about John Boorman's 'Excalibur' on Twitter here: @TheWorstNun. (She/Her).