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Waking Life (2001)

7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 41,857 users   Metascore: 82/100
Reviews: 499 user | 138 critic | 31 from Metacritic.com

A man shuffles through a dream meeting various people and discussing the meanings and purposes of the universe.

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Title: Waking Life (2001)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Trevor Jack Brooks ...
...
...
Glover Gill ...
Lara Hicks ...
Ames Asbell ...
Leigh Mahoney ...
Sara Nelson ...
Jeanine Attaway ...
Erik Grostic ...
Bill Wise ...
Boat Car Guy
Robert C. Solomon ...
Philosophy Professor
...
Herself
Eamonn Healy ...
Shape-Shifting Man
J.C. Shakespeare ...
Burning Man
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Storyline

Dreams. What are they? An escape from reality or reality itself? Waking Life follows the dream(s) of one man and his attempt to find and discern the absolute difference between waking life and the dreamworld. While trying to figure out a way to wake up, he runs into many people on his way; some of which offer one sentence asides on life, others delving deeply into existential questions and life's mysteries. We become the main character. It becomes our dream and our questions being asked and answered. Can we control our dreams? What are they telling us about life? About death? About ourselves and where we come from and where we are going? The film does not answer all these for us. Instead, it inspires us to ask the questions and find the answers ourselves. Written by Jeff Mellinger <jmell@uclink4.berkeley.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Animation | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some violent images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

7 March 2002 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

Despertando a la vida  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$88,977 (USA) (19 October 2001)

Gross:

$2,892,011 (USA) (26 April 2002)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The pinball machine that Richard Linklater plays at the end of the movie is the same one that Kevin Pickford plays at the Emporium in Dazed and Confused (1993), another of Linklater's films. See more »

Quotes

Accordion Player: And this is where I think language came from. It came from our desire to transcend our isolation and have some sort of connection with one another. And it had to be easy when it was just simple survival, like water we came up with a sound for that
[... ]
Accordion Player: but when we use that same system of symbols to communicate all the abstract and intangible things that we're experiencing. When I say love the sound comes out of my mouth and it hits the other person's ear, travel through this Byzantine conduit ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Because almost none of the characters are named, a clip from their appearance is shown during the credits. See more »

Connections

References Myst (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

Gill 2 Second Movement
Performed by TOSCA
Written by Glover Gill
Courtesy of Nois Records
See more »

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User Reviews

Waking Life: philosophical therapy.
7 November 2001 | by (Detroit, Michigan) – See all my reviews

This film, if seen by someone who has DEEPLY considered the mysteries of life, will thoroughly delight. If you don't have a spiritual bone in your body, avoid. It has its flaws, but only in retrospect or through the eyes of another will they be found--and then forgiven if you have even an ounce of heart or a particle of transcendence.

It gets beneath one's radar and past one's filters.

For instance, it hits you perceptually with constantly varying animation styles, and after some time, you adjust to this so much that when you leave the theater, THE WORLD IS ANIMATED--a poetic way of saying that your connection to the proposition that all things are real is loosen WONDERFULLY!

And then, it hits you intellectually by parading a dozen+ viewpoints of persons who would not necessarily disagree with one another, but show the vast importance to us of the personal way we manifest our philosophical axioms and how much that depends on our individual interests-not all of us are psychologically constructed to be philosophers, but all of us can be analyzed to have a philosophical set of suppositions. Waking Life challenges these suppositions by merely presenting to you, in dramatic form, persons who vividly present their `takes' on the concepts and how they are impacted by them...especially emotionally.

Ultimately, this is not a movie, and it shouldn't be viewed as such; instead, one should approach it as therapy. See it, be with it, relax, and GROW. Every time you see it again, the concepts saturate your nervous system with reinforcing patterns that will later "echo" in your dynamics in synergistic ways. A seed gets planted and with repeated viewings the seed gets watered.

Go to this event. See it from a seat that's within the first ten rows of the theater; immerse yourself. Let go. All you have to lose (loosen) is identification with a reflection of the real you.


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