Waking Life (2001)
|Join wiley wiggins as he searches for answers to lifes most important questions in a world that may or may not be reality.|
"...thoughtful, provocative, liberating and fun. Desson Howe, Washington Post
"An astounding one-of-a-kind movie. Peter Rainer, New York Magazine
"...an amazing film that dances and vibrates with life. Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
Editor's NoteDirector Richard Linklater presents this computer-animated, dreamlike, meandering film about a college-age man (Wiley Wiggins) who floats in and out of a series of philosophical discussions and ethereal experiences, meeting an interesting cast of characters along the way. Each character that Wiley meets engages him in an existential discussion. Wiley listens, observes, and occasionally responds. Then he glumly shuffles off to his next encounter. At times, he wakes up in his bed and rubs his eyes, appearing to start a new day. But eventually viewers learn that Wiley is dreaming throughout the film, and is trying to learn to control his dreams--and accomplish lucid dreaming, or simply wake up.Visually, WAKING LIFE is nothing short of fantastic. Linklater stays true to his Indie style--jerky camera, drifting gaze, and steady head shots that allow non-actors to talk straight into the camera. To achieve the floating feeling of the dream sequences, he first tried taking aerial shots from a helicopter, then opted for the smoother effect of a hot air balloon. He shot the film on digital video, edited it, then called on 30 animators to finish it. The characters in the film move and gesticulate like live action, but they are animated with odd color schemes and surreal lines that make them cartoony caricatures. WAKING LIFE is a superb work that should be applauded for its atmospheric elements (lovely images of New York and Austin), its amusing bohemian dialogues, and its unique animation.
Cast & Crew
|Bob Sabiston - Art Director|
|Richard Linklater - Director|
|Sandra Adair - Editor|
|John Sloss - Executive Producer|
|Jonathan Sehring - Executive Producer|
|Caroline Kaplan - Executive Producer|
|The Tosca Tango Orchestra - Music By|
|Palmer West - Producer|
|Tommy Pallotta - Producer|
|Jonah Smith - Producer|
|Jane Walker McBay - Producer|
|Julie Delpy - Voice Of|
|Kim Krizan - Voice Of|
|Wiley Wiggins - Voice Of|
|Ethan Hawke - Voice Of|
|Richard Linklater - Writer|
AFI Film Awards (2002)
|Bob Sebiston, Nominee, AFI Digital Effects Artist Of The Year|
Independent Spirit (2002)
|Richard Linklater, Nominee, Best Director|
|Richard Linklater, Nominee, Best Screenplay|
Venice Film Festival (2002)
|Richard Linklater, Winner, CinemAvvenire Award (Best Film)|
New York Film Critics Circle Award (2001)
|Richard Linklater, Winner, Best Animated Film|
Customer Reviews of Waking Life
Waking Life is Great10/8/2003
This movie is a work of art. One of the highest concentrations of insightful thinking I have ever seen. A must see for all intelligent life forms.
Different in an Extremely Good Way6/26/2003
You're either going to love this movie or hate it; I loved it. It diverges from the normal plot of a movie in the sense that there isn't one (isn't it the same about life?). It's essentially about this unnamed teen or young adult who discovers that he keeps waking from a dream to find that he's still dreaming and can't actually awake from it (it's probably a commentary on the nature of conciousness). Meanwhile, the movie itself is composed of a series of vignettes, monologs, and dialogs from various dream characters about the true nature of existing and knowing. Obviously, to appreciate this movie, one needs to have an open mind, becuase if you don't, this will appear to be only meaningless and uninteresting talking. My advice is, pay close attention to what's going on and this will be one of the most rewarding films you'll ever see.
A breakthrough for 2-D animation6/25/2002
While most animated films are aimed at children and provide joyful sing-along fun, Richard Linklater uses animation for a very different purpose. Waking Life is a beautiful thing to watch and it tells a beautiful story. It uses animation to convey the feeling of a dream-state and the viewer gets that impression loud and clear. The flowing images that pulse before our eyes are unforgettable. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences created a new award category in 2001 for animated films. Unfortunately this film did not receive the attention it deserved from the Academy or the movie-going public. Perhaps it will gain respect as a cult classic on DVD.
Avoid like the plague6/6/2002
This film is horrible beyond words. I made the mistake of seeing it in theaters, and merely remembering the experience is painful. To summarize - it is a lengthy jumble of bored-college-student pseudo-philosophical ramblings that are supposed to make the viewer seriously consider the meaning and reality of life. The animation is indeed noteworthy, but the dialogue is a tedious string of cliches that lack both insight and originality. If you want to get the effect of the movie but don't want to spend the money, I have a solution. Go to a coffee shop, preferably one close to a college campus. Get a simple but pleasant drink, and eavesdrop on the bright minds of tomorrow philosophizing and bs'ing all about the meaning of life, the transient nature of reality, and the human paradox. Sit, absorb, and scoff (optional) for however long the movie would have taken you, and then leave. Repeat if enjoyed.