Thursday, June 7, 2007

Waking Life (2001)

Directed by Richard Linklater. Starring Wiley Wiggins.

One of the best (and rarest) feelings one can have as a moviegoer is the feeling that you're seeing something new and exciting onscreen. Such was the case when I first saw this film. Waking Life doesn't have a dominating story so much as it leads the audience through a series of conversations, most but not all of which include Wiggins, who listens and sometimes comments on what is said. The conversations range from philosophical debates to angry rants, and each is fascinating and stimulating. If there is a plot, it involves Wiggins' inability to awaken from his dream (of which the conversations are a part). What really pushes this film into the realm of greatness is its visual style, which takes conventionally-shot footage and rotoscopes vibrant, dancing computer animation on top of it in a way that makes me giddy every time I watch it.

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