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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
4,199 ( 329)
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

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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

Dismissed in a Jonathon Ross review as "young people indulging themselves". See more »

Quotes

Pinball Playing Man: There's only one instant, and it's right now. And it's eternity.
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 1,001 Movies You Must See (Before You Die) (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Ballade 3
Performed by TOSCA
Written by Glover Gill
Courtesy of Nois Records
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User Reviews

 
very good, creative, expansion of Slackers
27 February 2003 | by alfred hitchcockSee all my reviews

It is rare for a director to return to a film and improve it but Linklater does it here. Taking the general form of Slackers, he adds a metaphysical story line and coats it with extraordinary eye candy.

The rotoscoping really provides an acid trip experience of constantly shifting planes with backgrounds going one way and characters going the other.

The string quartet tango score also is an excellent use of music to reinforce the exotic aspects of the production.

The monologues are thought provoking and compelling. The story line examining dream/death connection is novel. Score points for originality of story, art direction and narrative line. Some quite funny parts (e.g. boat car, bar shoot out, etc.), some creepy parts (e.g. jailbird rant, second boat man meeting, etc.).

I have seen this several times and enjoyed it every time. Farily rare is the movie that can really stand up to multiple viewings. This is one.

Very refreshing. See it.


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