Dreaming While Awake: Thoughts on the film Waking Life

5 Nov

Waking Life
My thoughts after seeing Waking Life:

“Holy shit – this movie really is all about lucid dreaming!”

“What the fuck was that guy talking about?”

“This is really awesome and yet sometimes really boring.”

“This guy talking about how turning on or off a light in a dream and how it won’t work – I love this scene. And 360 vision – hell yea!”

“This crazy animation style is going to give me a headache!”

“I need to watch this movie again and take notes.”

This isn’t a normal movie with character development, a climax, and so on – it’s more like a philosophical look at dreams, waking life, and reality. It’s about a guy seemingly lost in a dreamworld, wondering from dream to dream, sometimes thinking he’s awake, and sometimes knowing he’s in a dream. He meets different people everywhere he goes, and the ensuing conversations leave you confused, intrigued, and excited.

These conversations cover a lot of ground. For those interested in spending some time with the themes of the movie, the Waking Life script is online here.

This is a rare type of film, both in content and technique, whose shortcomings are made up for it’s ability to get you thinking about something you’ve probably never thought before.

My Favorite Scene

Some Quotes

Doesn’t it make sense that death too would be wrapped in a dream? That after death, your conscious life would continue in what might be called a dream body?”

“There’s only one instant, and it’s right now, and it’s eternity.”

“They say that dreams are only real as long as they last. Couldn’t you say the same thing about life?”

“Did you ever have a job that you hated and worked real hard at? A long, hard day of work. Finally you get to go home, get in bed, close your eyes and immediately you wake up and realize… that the whole day at work had been a dream. It’s bad enough that you sell your waking life for minimum wage, but now they get your dreams for free. “

(More Waking Life quotes)

PS. It is purely a coincidence that this film is called Waking Life and then I come out with a blog called Dreaming Life. I actually came to this name while writing down my dreams and found it to be an efficient term to designate something that happened while sleeping. I wasn’t aware of the film Waking Life at the time.waking life


3 Responses to “Dreaming While Awake: Thoughts on the film Waking Life”

  1. Jacob November 5, 2007 at 4:41 am #

    I actually thought your blog was named intentionally as a reference to this!

    Good quotes. Another one I like is: “Self-awareness is the realization of being a character in someone else’s dream”.

  2. Chris November 6, 2007 at 4:58 pm #

    This is one movie I’ve intended to see for awhile, but thanks to your post I’m definitely going to make a point to see it soon.

  3. Ben November 11, 2007 at 7:24 pm #

    Jacob – funny, I bet you aren’t the only one. I think most people make that connection between the blog name and the movie name. Oh well! Maybe it’ll help me get residual search engine traffic? Heh…maybe not.

    Chris – cool man, I am sure you’ll dig the movie, as it is entirely unique, even if a bit long-winded or confusing at times. For more movies in this vein, check out this post I recently put up on dream-related films.

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