It's Impossible to Learn to Plow by Reading Books

Director: Richard Linklater
Year Released: 1988
Rating: 3.0

With a nonexistent budget, an Amtrak pass and a Super 8 camera, Linklater makes his own small-scale Antonioni picture about alienation ... and it's surprisingly effective. There's an eeriness to this film that's unshakeable - maybe because Linklater was a one-man crew, managing to record himself trekking along the West Coast and beyond (and almost always frighteningly alone in every shot), surviving on cola and uncomfortable sleep for days with virtually no one to talk to and interspersing stagnant images of gloomy, menacing buildings with desolate, West Coast America. It's as convincing a picture of no-income, minimal-frills living I've watched in a while and an intimate first feature.