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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
4,812 ( 38)
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:

Acordar para a 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

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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

The poem quoted by Timothy Levitch on the bridge is "Sleepless City (Brooklyn Bridge Nocturne)" by Frederico Garcia Lorca. See more »

Quotes

Otto Hofmann: The quest is to be liberated from the negative, which is really our own will to nothingness. And, once having said yes to the instant, the affirmation is contagious. It bursts into a chain of affirmations that knows no limit. To say yes to one instant, is to say yes to all of existence.
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 Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Lastima Grande
Performed by TOSCA
Written by Glover Gill
Courtesy of Nois Records
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User Reviews

 
A film for passionate thinkers.
19 March 2003 | by SpamletSee all my reviews

This is one of the most thought provoking films I've ever seen. It's also visually stunning and perfectly acted: every single one of these people seem to be just giving their own opinions as if you were overhearing/having a meaningful conversation with them.

We can chalk this up to the genius of Linklater who over the years has shown not only the pretentiously humorous coffee house crowd cliches but also the searching, often deeply insightful side of our generation that the media overlooked when we were dubbed slackers. In films he has written: "Slacker" and "Before Sunrise" and in his films of stage plays Bogosian's brilliant, Chekhovian "SubUrbia" and the faintly melodramatic "Tape", Linklater has always been fascinated with the question of what we should doing with our lives. Our responsibility is to contribute something lasting and meaningful to our society. But what exactly is that? Where and when should I do it? Who with? How do I know if I've really found it? Why is it so important again, anyway?

I saw this movie for the first time late last night and 5 minutes before it started I had fallen asleep and was hoping I'd be able to make it all the way through the film. From the first frame I was riveted and completely awake and remained so even after it was over; contemplating all the myriad viewpoints the film had thrown at me.

This movie is so exciting and bursting with ideas that I'm going to buy the DVD as soon as I possibly can and watch it over and over trying to absorb it all.

See this film. It will remind you of how thrilling it is to be an active thinking, feeling member of the human race.


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