Life As Seen By The Video Backpacker
The 1991 film Slacker has fully earned its title as a cult movie over the years; but, if you’re into this movie called Slacker, then you know it’s much more than a cult movie (and we’ll leave it at that). One scene, out of the many in the film, is about a character who is named in the credits as the Video Backpacker.
The guy has developed his whole reality around an array of glowing television sets (some of which are stolen). The scene needs to be viewed to be appreciated, but his words really tell us about our perception of reality and how it has been distorted by the televised image.
“To me, my thing is, a video image is much more powerful and useful than an actual event. Like back when I used to go out, when I was last out, I was walking down the street and this guy, that came barreling out of a bar, fell right in front of me, and he had a knife right in his back, landed right on the ground and… Well, I have no reference to it now. I can’t put it on pause. I can’t put it on slow mo and see all the little details. And the blood, it was all wrong. It didn’t look like blood. The hue was off. I couldn’t adjust the hue. I was seeing it for real, but it just wasn’t right. And I didn’t even see the knife impact on the body. I missed that part.”The Video Backpacker from Slacker (1991)