Waking Life [DVD] 
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Sound Quality: English 5.1 Surround Sound
Subtitles: English for the Hearing Impaired
Aspect Ratio: 16 x 9 1.85
Richard Linklater goes off-kilter with his sixth film, Waking Life. Without a linear plot line, stable images and offering the kind of conversations you normally only find in a University seminar, it's clear that Linklater--despite his commercial success with independent films--is determined not move into the mainstream. By taking Wiley Wiggins away from his Dazed and Confused life into a dream which has no structure, and flitting from one philosophical question to another, Linklater presents a filmic discussion into the nature of physical awareness, consciousness and unconsciousness that most surrealist artists would be proud of. However, Linklater goes one step further and removes all notions of the real world by filming the actors then transferring them into animation, employing 31 artists to input their vision onto the film.
The result is a startlingly honest portrayal of the confusion we all face about the difference between life and death, dreaming and awareness, and the unknown as a whole. All the characters Wiggins meets seem to have their own thesis on the unknown, just as in life we are all aware or feel differently about our own self. In addition there are discussions regarding film as a dream-like form, with theorists aligning the sensation of watching a film to that of dreaming, taking your own consciousness into the lives of others. This is what makes Waking Life such a brave and well-structured film. By breaking down the barriers of narrative and reality, Linklater has probably made one of the most realistic films in recent history.
On the DVD: Waking Life transfers well onto to DVD but disappointingly has no extra features. With just a language selection, scene selection and play all section the only real added advantage of the DVD format is the ability to play back the dream sequences to allow for greater understanding, something impossible to do in the "waking life". --Nikki Disney
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Top Customer Reviews
Linklater draws on his influences (PK Dick, Lorca etc) and becomes himself an influence on the way you think after you've watched this. THe thing is, there is no plot- and there are no major character conflicts. It just makes you think about what our waking life is and whether we're dead or alive. It's simply superb. The soundtrack is unique too.
Anime has been around for a while, but only really has a cult following. Arguably, it was with The Simpsons that animators realised that animation could be for adults and children too. Then came South Park and Beavis & Butthead, two teenage animated series that spun off decent movies. Disney incorporated more mature jokes into Aladdin and Toy Story, and Dreamworks did the same with Antz and Shrek.
And now comes an animated film mainly for adults; one that does not play for gags; and one that not only transcends the animated label, but transcends film itself.
Richard Linklater's Waking Life was first filmed, on a pretty tight budget, with regular digital cameras, and then injected with animation via computers before being transferred to film. This gives the animators the ability to add real movement and detail to the movie. I felt, in fact, that although this does not look realistic in the way that, say, Toy Story 2 looked realistic, it is probably the most REAL animated film I have ever seen. By making the film animated it gave it a unique feel and also gave the filmmakers the ability to play with special effects without spending millions (for instance the main character flying, which he does a few times).
The main character in question is played by Wiley Wiggins, whom you may recognise from Linklater's Dazed And Confused.Read more ›
The central character is a teenage boy [Wiley Wiggins] who is never named. We see him meandering aimlessly through a dream he is unable to wake up from, meeting a series of characters who engage him in amateur philosophical discussion, or simply rant in frantic, and occassionally profound, monlogues. He is often very detatched from the proceedings, seeming as much an observer as the audience themselves.
While playing with deep concepts, the film itself remains vibrantly alive, partly through the bright animation palette, but also through its quirky characters. While they are of hugely varied ages, they all come across like students in their passionate attempts to vocalise their ideas, beliefs and viewpoints. Indeed, perhaps the aim of Waking Life, at least in part, is to stir up such passion in its viewers, since it seems to have left the modern world outside of universities. Rarely does a film seem so passionate about its own ideas.
The animation style may at first seem like a poor gimmick with a varied quality of appearance. However, the results match the Waking Life's core perfectly, lending fluidity and intensity as an extension of the film's own notions.Read more ›
The movie follows the protagonist through a series of outlandish experiences and converstions which reflect upon the nature of reality and the human condition. If you're wondering what this means, again, watch it. The style is documentary-esque and you could easily forget that what you are watching is scripted dialogue: the acting is phenomenal. The film is overlayed with animation so that the fabric of reality can be toyed with, and this is the perfect medium for the subject matter.
Linklater is slicing straight to the main arteries of life. This is a film beyond most cinematographers' wildest dreams.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Must watch film, absolutely amazing. Cool art and awesome dialogue.Published 2 months ago by Thomas Carwithen
a must see, philosophical pilgrimage in an evening's viewingPublished 12 months ago by Miss V C Nottingham
If i am too stupid to understand the comedy in this film, I am very happy. It is exactly the same as a scanner darkly but slightly less annoying as Downey Jnr and Reeves arent... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Chu-i