Jack Black and Richard Linklater on ‘Slacker’ and the Bohemia of Austin, Texas

Earlier this afternoon I had a quick lunch with “Bernie” director Richard Linklater and star Jack Black. Millennium Entertainment has the duo in town for a few days hitting the east coast post-DVD circuit, trying to ride some of the buzz on the film and particularly Black’s performance and find a little room in the season. They could get there, at least with the Independent Spirit Awards and maybe the Golden Globes.

I’ll post the full interview in a few days, but in the meantime, a couple of nuggets about this and that. Like, for instance, Black’s first exposure to Linklater’s work. Like most, it was the director’s debut feature film “Slacker,” which, along with Steven Soderbergh’s “sex, lies and videotape,” was a harbinger of the 1990s independent film explosion. The film also celebrated its 20th anniversary last year. For Black, though, it was also revelatory of a whole community that, for a young actor working the audition circuit, seemed like a truly inspiring place.

Here’s the exchange:

Jack Black: “The first time I was introduced to his work was a little movie called ‘Slacker.’ Not to be confused with ‘Slackers.’ A lot of rookies make that mistake.”

Richard Linklater: “I’m glad you always make that distinction.”

JB: “I always make that distinction. I always call it ‘Slackers.’ I’m constantly fucking it up. ‘You gotta check out his first movie, ‘Slackers.’ Egggh. The thing that’s confusing is that there’s a ton of slackers in the movie. It’s not about one slacker. Why would you do that?”

RL: “It was perverse, I admit it.”

JB: “And then the poster has only one slacker on it. So you’re saying it’s about Madonna’s pap smear. She’s incredible.”

RL: “Teresa Taylor. Butthole Surfers’ drummer at that time.”

JB: “But she ain’t the only slacker. But yeah, I just wanted to live in Austin, Texas. I had never heard of Austin, Texas before that movie and I was like, ‘That is the destination.’ It just looked like the coolest most bohemian artistic scene in America. And so I started following him after that.

Check back in a few days for the full interview. Meanwhile, Black will be appearing on “The Late Show with David Letterman” tonight for a Mitt Romney bit, so be sure to tune in for that.

“Bernie” is available now on Blu-ray and DVD.