Richard Linklater

Following his emergence into the spotlight with "Slacker" (1990), writer-director Richard Linklater was cited by many filmmakers and critics as having helped usher in the independent film movement of the 1990s. Without his manifesto for Generation X - who later were tagged with the sobriquet "slackers" - other independent filmmakers might not have been compelled to make their own movies, including Kevin Smith, who cited Linklater's movie as the key inspiration for making "Clerks" (1994). Linklater followed up with the classic cult comedy, "Dazed and Confused" (1993), which upped the ante for the young filmmaker. Though at this point he could have gone the studio route, Linklater instead chose to remain close to his indie roots with the dialogue-heavy "Before Sunrise" (1995), an engrossing romantic drama that showcased his growing maturity. He managed to repel a few fans with the dark and disturbing "subUrbia" (1996) and the more genre-oriented period crime drama "The Newton Boys" (1998), only to pull them back with "Waking Life" (2001), a groundbreaking film that used distinctive rotoscope animation over live action sequences. After the equally inspired "Tape" (2001), he directed the financial hit "School of Rock" (2003), before returning to familiar ground with the follow-up "Before Sunset" (2004). By the time he helmed "Fast Food Nation" (2006) and "A Scanner Darkly" (2006), Linklater had proven that he could balance the needs of commerce with his own unique creative impulses.