Waking Life

Synopsis: 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.
Director(s): Richard Linklater
Production: Fox Searchlight
  5 wins & 20 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
99 min

Um, pick a color.


B- L-U-E.

Pick a number.

- Eight. - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.

Pick one more number.

- Fifteen.

- 1, 2, 3, 4,

Pick another number.

- Six.

- Okay.

"Dream is destiny. "

Rock out.

Rock and roll.

Go, strings. Begin.

Sara, will you try that,

the thing you asked me about?

- Yeah.

- Will you try it a little more subdued?

- Okay. - Vibrato. Just try it

and see what you think.

But what I want...

I mean, I want it to sound rich

and maybe almost a little wavy...

due to being

slightly out of tune.

- Do you want it, um...

- I think it should be slightly detached.

That's what I was wondering.

Yeah, yeah, you got it.


Okay, pick up to 20, please.

- Erik, this is a pickup to 20.

- Okay.

Hey, man, it's me.

Um, I just got back into town.

I thought maybe I could bum a ride

off you or something, but that's cool.

I could probably just take a cab,

something like that. Um...

Yeah, I guess I'll hang out

with you later, something like that.

Ahoy there, matey!

You in for the long haul?

You need a little hitch in your

get-along, a little lift on down the line?

Oh, um, yeah, actually, I was waiting for

a cab or something, but if you want to...

All right.

Don't miss the boat.

- Hey, thanks.

- Not a problem.

Anchors aweigh!

So what do you think

of my little vessel?

She's what we call "see-worthy. "

S- E-E. See with your eyes.

I feel like my transport should be

an extension of my personality.

Voila. And this? This is like

my little window to the world,

and every minute,

it's a different show.

Now, I may not understand it. I may

not even necessarily agree with it.

But I'll tell you what, I accept it

and just sort of glide along.

You want to keep things on an even keel

I guess is what I'm saying.

You want to go with the flow.

The sea refuses no river.

The idea is to remain in a state of

constant departure while always arriving.

Saves on introductions

and good-byes.

The ride does not require

an explanation.

Just occupants.

That's where you guys come in.

It's like you come onto this planet

with a crayon box.

Now, you may get the 8-pack,

you may get the 16-pack.

But it's all in what

you do with the crayons,

the colors

that you're given.

Don't worry about drawing within

the lines or coloring outside the lines.

I say color outside the lines.

Color right off the page.

Don't box me in.

We're in motion to the ocean.

We are not landlocked,

I'll tell ya that.

So where do you want out?

Uh, who, me?

Am I first?

Um, I don't know.

Really, anywhere is fine.

Well, just... just give me an address

or something, okay?

Tell you what,

go up three more streets,

take a right,

go two more blocks,

drop this guy off

on the next corner.

- Where's that?

- I don't know either, but it's somewhere,

and it's gonna determine the course

of the rest of your life.

All ashore

that's going ashore.

Toot toot!

The reason why I refuse

to take existentialism...

as just another French fashion

or historical curiosity...

is that I think it has something very

important to offer us for the new century.

I'm afraid we're losing the real

virtues of living life passionately,

the sense of taking responsibility

for who you are,

the ability to make something of

yourself and feeling good about life.

Existentialism is often discussed

as if it's a philosophy of despair.

But I think the truth

is just the opposite.

Sartre once interviewed said he never

really felt a day of despair in his life.

But one thing that comes out

from reading these guys...

is not a sense of anguish

about life so much as...

a real kind of exuberance

of feeling on top of it.

It's like your life

is yours to create.

I've read the post modernists

with some interest, even admiration.

But when I read them, I always have

this awful nagging feeling...

that something absolutely essential

is getting left out.

The more that you talk about a person

as a social construction...

or as a confluence

of forces...

or as fragmented

or marginalized,

what you do is you open up

a whole new world of excuses.

And when Sartre

talks about responsibility,

he's not talking about

something abstract.

He's not talking about the kind of self

or soul that theologians would argue about.

It's something very concrete.

It's you and me talking.

Making decisions. Doing things

and taking the consequences.

It might be true that there are six

billion people in the world and counting.


what you do makes a difference.

It makes a difference,

first of all, in material terms.

Makes a difference to other people

and it sets an example.

In short, I think

the message here is...

that we should never simply

write ourselves off...

and see ourselves as the victim

of various forces.

It's always our decision

who we are.

Creation seems

to come out of imperfection.

It seems to come out of

a striving and a frustration.

And this is where I think

language came from.

I mean, it came from our desire

to transcend our isolation...

and have some sort of

connection with one another.

And it had to be easy

when it was just simple survival.

Like, you know, "water. "

We came up with a sound for that.

Or, " Saber-toothed tiger right behind

you. " We came up with a sound for that.

But when it gets

really interesting, I think,

is when we use that same system

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Richard Linklater

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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