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Waking Life (2001)

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

Director:

Richard Linklater
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Popularity
4,577 ( 150)
5 wins & 20 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Trevor Jack Brooks Trevor Jack Brooks ... Young Boy Playing Paper Game
Lorelei Linklater ... Young Girl Playing Paper Game
Wiley Wiggins ... Main Character
Glover Gill Glover Gill ... Accordion Player
Lara Hicks Lara Hicks ... Violin Player
Ames Asbell Ames Asbell ... Viola Player
Leigh Mahoney Leigh Mahoney ... Viola Player
Sara Nelson Sara Nelson ... Cello Player
Jeanine Attaway Jeanine Attaway ... Piano Player
Erik Grostic Erik Grostic ... Bass Player
Bill Wise ... Boat Car Guy
Robert C. Solomon Robert C. Solomon ... Philosophy Professor
Kim Krizan ... Herself
Eamonn Healy Eamonn Healy ... Shape-Shifting Man
J.C. Shakespeare 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 | Plot Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 March 2002 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

Despertando a la vida See more »

Filming Locations:

Texas, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$88,977, 21 October 2001, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,892,011, 28 April 2002
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the first digitally rotoscoped animated feature film. See more »

Quotes

Man on the Train: Hey, are you a dreamer?
Wiley: Yeah.
Man on the Train: I haven't seen too many around lately. Things have been tough lately for dreamers. They say dreaming is dead, no one does it anymore. It's not dead it's just that it's been forgotten, removed from our language. Nobody teaches it so nobody knows it exists. The dreamer is banished to obscurity. Well, I'm trying to change all that, and I hope you are too. By dreaming, every day. Dreaming with our hands and dreaming with our minds. Our planet is facing the greatest ...
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

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Animated Movies for Adults (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Nocturna
Performed by Glovertango
Written by Julián Plaza (as Julian Plaza)
Courtesy of Warner Chappell Music Inc.
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User Reviews

Waking Life: philosophical therapy.
7 November 2001 | by kolangandedgSee 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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