Film Forum

No slouch in these 5 slacker films

 In the coming-of-age drama “Güeros,” slackers Sombra, Santos, and Tomás kill time while exploring Mexico City’s invisible frontiers. Via Kino Lorber.

In the coming-of-age drama “Güeros,” slackers Sombra, Santos, and Tomás kill time while exploring Mexico City’s invisible frontiers. Via Kino Lorber.

Ahh, the cinema’s slacker. The aimless adolescent. The loveable layabout. The incessant idler. The lazy bum.

On Aug. 14, Filmworks screens the Mexican coming-of-age drama “Güeros,” the story of a motionless and angst-ridden group of slackers who get caught up in the National University student strike of 1999. The movie, whose title refers to light-skinned Mexicans who have it easier than their less European-looking brothers and sisters, explores the lives of youth who find themselves unable to feel at ease in their own country.

In his directorial debut, filmmaker Alonso Ruizpalacios presents the slackers of “Güeros” — Sombra, Santos, and Tomás — within the frame of a national identity crisis. Here are five other indie films that artfully portray slackers of other varieties.


“Stranger Than Paradise” (1984)
Directed by Jim Jarmusch
This slow-paced (and storyless?) road-trip drama starring John Lurie will put a spell on you with its long, languid takes and its deadpan slacker dialogue.


“Dazed and Confused” (1993)
Directed by Richard Linklater
This high school comedy starring Matthew McConaughey and an ensemble cast still feels all right, all right, all right in its depiction of 1970s slacker buds.


“Clerks” (1994)
Directed by Kevin Smith
This low-fi comedy marked the debut of perennial big-screen slackers Jay and Silent Bob, and its rapid-fire and witty dialogue summed up the hell of retail work.


“Friday” (1995)
Directed by F. Gary Gray
This screwball stoner comedy starring Ice Cube and Chris Tucker was daaaamn funny as a send-up of two slackers in the ’hood who can’t get their drug deal started off right.


“Frances Ha” (2012)
Directed by Noah Baumbach
In 2013, Filmworks screened this monochromatic mumblecore drama starring Greta Gerwig, who stumbles through a whole film’s worth of snapshot moments that depict the arrested development of a 20-something modern dancer, as she endearingly slacks her way through New York City en route to her own new bohemia.

Jefferson Beavers serves as president of the Filmworks board.

Every second Friday of the month, Fresno Filmworks screens first-run independent and international movies at the historic Tower Theatre.