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.
More videos like this
- For another look at Niche Nonsense’s work, check out their video essay on Manchester Orchestra’s incredibly surreal soundtrack for the Daniels’ 2016 film Swiss Army Man.
- And here’s another on why Nic Cage has one of the most unkillable careers in Hollywood.
- Here’s a video essay by More Than Meets the Lens on Taxi Driver and the darker side of nihilism: when it collides with toxic masculinity.
- Michelle Yeoh‘s character in Everything Everywhere All At Once is not a slacker. But she does embrace the freedom that comes with taking a step back and realizing that nothing matters, actually. Check it out here.
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