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Waking Life

A movie directed by Richard Linklater

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Visual and Mental Candy

  • Jun 6, 2002
I won't waste time critiquing parts of this movie. Suffice to say I loved the whole thing. I've never seen Rotoscoping done so well, it's a far cry from Ralph Bakshi's use of it. The lack of a plot did not bother me. The thrust of the movie is to live in the moment, totally experience it, so where it was going did not concern me. There actually was a plot, just a very straight forward one. I won't give it away though. The dialoug was wonderful--the insights into life, death and dreams very profound. I bought the DVD so I could watch it again and again to pick up what I missed. Watch this movie when you can totally devote you attention to it. I loved how they worked in clips from other famous movies, ie Dreams by Akira Kursawa, etc....

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More Waking Life reviews
review by . July 19, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
  Waking Life is on the top of my “favorite movies of all time” list. When I make a new friend that I really respect, if they haven’t already seen this film, one of the first things I will do is invite them over to watch it. This movie has had such an influence on my life that it has even inspired me to major in Philosophy.    I will admit that this film is definitely not for everyone. For one thing, there is no real plot. Waking Life consists of a series of …
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Waking Life is a film that never settles down. Or maybe it never wakes up. Regardless, Richard Linklater's animated meditation seems to strike a perfect balance between the plotless meanderings of Slackerand the unquenchable knowledge-seeking of Hermann Hesse's Siddhartha. Any way you look at it, this is a weird, original movie.

As he attempts to figure out what separates dreams from reality, the protagonist (Dazed and Confused's Wiley Wiggins) hears an earful from everyone he stumbles upon. Ramblings range from the scholarly (Linklater's former college professor Robert C. Solomon gives a monologue) to the banal (of which there are plenty). Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy, Steven Soderbergh, and Adam Goldberg all get animated cameos, basically playing themselves. The dream-centered dialogues eventually grow mind-numbing, but that's OK; the animation steals the show. Each frame of the movie, which was first shot with live actors, was painted over, and the process renders a distorted and trippy collage of sights and sounds. Linklater's film is ultimately quite poignant, but, as with any good journey, you'll need to sit through some fairly tedious moments before reaching the destination. --Jason Verlinde

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