Thirteen years ago, writer and director Richard Linklater released an indie flick with no plot, no stars, almost no budget ($23,000)--but plenty of conversation. That film, Slacker, became a cult hit and is coming out on DVD next week. Linklater, who is hard at work on A Scanner Darkly, with Keanu Reeves, talked with TIME's Carolina A. Miranda.
Was it hard to get slackers to star in a film about slackers?
It was fraught because you're not paying anybody. I'd say, "Show up at 6 a.m. because we have to shoot at dawn." And people would saunter in on their own time.
Do you still consider yourself a slacker?
I lost my status when the film got distribution, since I fit into the larger culture of supply and demand.
The DVD contains your unreleased first feature, It's Impossible to Learn to Plow by Reading Books. What's the idea there?
For completists who want to see everything, it's the flip side of Slacker. It's about a guy traveling around the country, but there's not much dialogue.
In Slacker, a huckster tries to sell Madonna's Pap smear. Ever hear from her?
No. Originally, I didn't want to be steeped in pop culture because it's fleeting. Then I figured, Madonna's here to stay. I'll let her be in my movie.