One of the most successful of these independent filmmakers is Richard Linklater. Born on July 30, 1960 in Houston, Texas and raised by his mother, Linklater’s original passion was baseball. Awarded a scholarship for his ability, Linklater attended Sam Houston State University. However, due to a medical issue involving an irregular heartbeat, he eventually gave it up and dropped out of college altogether. After working a few years at an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, Linklater moved to Austin, Texas, co-founded the Austin Film Society and began working on short films (Biography).
It was not long before Linklater produced his first feature-length film with It’s Impossible to Learn to Plow by Reading Books (1987), astoundingly writing and directing it with no education in filmmaking. His next feature, Slacker (1991---on a budget of only $23,000) officially put him on the map as a director. The film, as with the vast majority of his early work, deals with the Generation X individuals that came of age in the late 80’s and early 90’s. These were often educated, but apathetic and rebellious youth who weren’t as quick to make career decisions and tended to choose not to follow in their parents’ footsteps. They were thus eventually given the term “slacker.” Linklater successfully captured the soul and spirit of this generation with critically acclaimed works including the before mentioned Slacker, as well as Dazed and Confused (1993), Before Sunrise (1995), and SubUrbia (1996). These films, which at times borrowed aesthetics from the French New Wave, became the foundation of the Independent Film Renaissance that emerged in the 1990’s, with Linklater among the first and most successful directors of the period.
“Richard Linklater.” Biography. 2015. 26 Feb. 2015. <http://www.biography.com/people/richard-linklater>.