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Richard Linklater's "Waking Life"

Posted: 03 Aug 2011 18:13
by fineganswaker
Hi all.

Every once in a while I'll see posts about the movie "Inception" out here (makes sense!), and LDer's elsewhere talk about "The Matrix" (especially Tim Post). But I'm wondering if anybody has seen Richard Linklater's movie "Waking Life"?

I saw this movie a while back and it completely blew me away. Linklater, of course, coined the term "slacker" by way of his movie of the same name, also did the great 70 high school movie "Dazed and Confused", and more recently did the thoroughly wigged-out, rotoscoped, interpretation of P.K. Dick's masterpiece "Scanner Darkly" (quite possibly the best film representation of any of P.K. Dick's works so far).

It's interesting that "Waking Life" is sometimes dismissed in reviews as being either indecipherable or a pedantic, overly intellectual, "art movie"--any lucid dreamer who sees it will easily recognize all of it's central themes: OBE's, false awakenings, autonomous dream figures, scene shifting, etc. Lucid dreaming is the "skeleton key" for deciphering this movie--but the movie also points towards the possibility of lucid dreaming being potentially much more profound than mere "conscious dreaming".

If you haven't seen it, it's easily rentable (at least in the US) from Netflix (which is where I obtained it). Here's wikipedia's link for it ( as well as IMDB's writeup (

***If you have seen it--what do you think?***

Re: Richard Linklater's "Waking Life"

Posted: 03 Aug 2011 18:27
by rdubya

I suggest looking into Astral Projection. To me, it is the logical next step after LD. We are slowly reconnecting with the way of life of our ancestors. That combined with our technological advances of humanity will make quite a different age. Look at it as the next big "invention", like the car, then the internet, then the astral. Although it would be more of a new discovery than an invention, and it would be more like finding a buried treasure than a new discovery!


Re: Richard Linklater's "Waking Life"

Posted: 03 Aug 2011 20:40
by Peter
Thanks and will see if I can chase up a dvd or see online


Re: Richard Linklater's "Waking Life"

Posted: 23 Aug 2011 04:37
by Rebecca
Waking Life is mind-blowing. There is so much info to soak up I had to watch it twice... and I still don't feel I could do it justice with my own write-up... hence why I haven't reviewed it on the website yet.

Great movie, very intellectually stimulating. But I do recommend watching it alone so you are not continually distracted by your own conversational offshoots!

Must watch it again soon... 8-)

Re: Richard Linklater's "Waking Life"

Posted: 23 Aug 2011 05:46
by Peter
where did you see it, dvd or online?

Re: Richard Linklater's "Waking Life"

Posted: 01 Oct 2011 23:52
by yogithis
Hey Finegan,

A fantastic film. I enjoyed pretty much every scene and thought the script was fantastic, although i have no idea if the some of the scenes had one.

As for A Scanner Darkly...mind blowing. I recommend that film to everyone simply because it questions the nature and the states of reality and the actors are just amazing in their delivery. Great story too.

Any other films you can recommend?

Re: Richard Linklater's "Waking Life"

Posted: 03 Oct 2011 21:19
by fineganswaker
yogithis wrote:Any other films you can recommend?

Hi, Michael (yogithis).

Well, the only other films I feel I might safely recommend are old film noirs from the 1940s and 50s--but that gets us way off-topic!

Actually, maybe not. Film noir has nothing to do with lucid dreaming per se, but in their purest form these movies took stereotypically ordinary "everyman" type characters and threw them into twisted, dreamlike situations. In a way, you could say that they're film representations of waking nightmares. Stylistically, they borrowed heavily from earlier German expressionist films (a good example is the old silent classic Cabinet of Doctor Caligary): odd camera angles, shifting perspective, lots of dark, atmospheric lighting, downer endings etc.

So, who knows? Fire up one of these before bedtime and see what happens! Here's a few of my "faves":

Sunset Boulevard
Out of the Past
Double Indemnity
Lady from Shanghai
Sudden Fear
La Bete Humaine (French, starring the great Jean Gabin)

The list could go on and on--and all of these are available via Netflix.



Re: Richard Linklater's "Waking Life"

Posted: 07 Oct 2011 12:17
by Sandyman
Saw waking life a few years ago and cant recommend it highly enough.
Anyone interested in Lucid Dreaming/Astral Travel MUST see this film.
Who wants to be an ant? ;)

Re: Richard Linklater's "Waking Life"

Posted: 01 Nov 2011 07:29
by sophiasmith941
Thanks a lot for sharing about this movie..I would like to watch it...

Re: Richard Linklater's "Waking Life"

Posted: 05 Nov 2011 05:23
by Jonathan
I tried watching it years ago but never finished. Wasn't really my type of movie, despite my love of lucid dreaming. I ought to try watching it again.