Saturday, March 03, 2012

Waking Life (2001)

This is an imperfect-but-creditable movie. A young man (Wiley Wiggins) is in a persistent dream state and eventually develops a lucid ability to control the events. However, he is often frustrated and confused about whether he is awake or asleep and he feels trapped. He meets a few different people and has discussions on philosophy, free will, and the meaning of life. He feels impressed by his ability to have conversations with dream characters that he would not be able to invent while awake.

The film uses rotoscoped animation based on live action. The animators used inexpensive Apple Macintosh computers. The 2006 film A Scanner Darkly uses the same animation method. The title is a reference to philosopher George Santayana's maxim: "Sanity is a madness put to good uses; waking life is a dream controlled." Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy reprise their characters from Before Sunrise in one scene. The soundtrack includes Frédéric Chopin's Nocturne in E-flat major, Op. 9, No. 2.

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