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The Art of film forum seems fairly dead so im re-shoving this here just in case.
Well 'Waking Life' just came out here a couple of days ago so I went and saw it. Really liked it myself. Got a little disconcerted when more than a few people around me began omitting moans of nausea. Managed at one point to feel a little ooer'sh also, as one could when taking in so much epic movement(visual assault o_0). But good good good all the same, happy to discuss it with anyone. Nice review here: http://www.suntimes.com/ebert/ebert_reviews/2001/10/101904.html
Hmmm...an opening..... well, I liked the musical interludes, classy and allowed time for general thoughts, reflection etc...
Until now Aeon Flux(keepin it real!!) was the only thing through which I had heard of the "Demiurge". Before seeing Waking life(in which it is mentioned) I wasnt sure if the name at least was original to AF or not. Actually I was fairly certain the demiurge must have come from an actual religion, but I asked a lot of people, none had never heard of it. In fact the only people who had, were the small few I knew to have paid attention to AF and or WL. Hmm im such a dult I cant even remember what the guy in WL specifically said about the DU, can anyone else?
I tried to research this yonks ago. Just recently learnt to enter Demiurge as 1 word not 2(clever huh. Also obviously to lazy to try a book)?.....:"demiurge [Gr.=workman, craftsman], name given by Plato in a mythological passage in the Timaeus to the creator God. In Gnosticism the Demiurge, creator of the material world, was not God but the Archon, or chief of the lowest order of spirits or aeons. According to the Gnostics, the Demiurge was able to endow man only with psyche (sensuous soul)—the pneuma (rational soul) having been added by God. The Gnostics identified the Demiurge with the Jehovah of the Hebrews. In philosophy the term is used to denote a divinity who is the builder of the universe rather than its creator." I spose this info has probably been adressed in past threads.
You could say Peter Chung was a bit Demiurgical, ie. "A powerful creative force or personality".
-- Sam (email@example.com), July 27, 2002
I didn't see Waking Life until recently, either. I was impressed, but it was, how should I put it, a feeling of "Wow, the guy who made this must have been really smart" kind of impressed rather than an "I'm going to run out and tell everybody I know to see this" kind of impressed.
-- Kristine Rooks (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 27, 2002.
Yeah, I would only rave about this film to one or two people I know around my age.
-- Sam (email@example.com), July 28, 2002.
What I mean is that even though I was wowed by the filmmaker's knowledge of philosophy, the film itself didn't have much of an impact on me.
-- Kristine Rooks (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 28, 2002.
You Get into lucid dreaming?
-- Sam (email@example.com), July 29, 2002.
I guess one of the things I really liked about this film was the way It compelled/forced me to pay attention. I can find it so easy to zone out when people start talking like those characters. I did for about the first 10 minutes feel overly distracted by the visuals (although I liked them) and a tad sick as a result(sore eyes as well actually). When I decided to focus a little more than usual on the dialouge it really helped. I dont know if anyone could comment on this but I felt the visuals helped to discourage people from 'zoning out'. Sometimes its just to easy to look and hardly listen.
Working to keep myself hearing all those well organised and smart philosophical points of views and ideas(baring a couple of characters that simply flew over)really got my head going, like those AF ep guides and the many threads on this board that often have. I found that a result of all this catalyzed(and in someways imposed) thinking activity made all that visual activity begin to feel genuinly more relative and so much more complimentary, in addition after about 2 conversations I could relax much more.
Although other experiences have, films and TV until now never really had me engaging quite like that; a means of motivation perhaps, eg. come to terms or throw up, come to terms or freak out, etc.
a quote from WL that went something like this: "Creativity comes from struggle"
PS. Yes, I have talked to people who quite simply enjoyed this all the way through -_- and the dislikers
-- Sam (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 20, 2002.
Hmm, regarding that quote, I suppose the only way Im going to get a discussion around here is by starting an argument. ;/
-- Sam (email@example.com), August 25, 2002.
Roger Eberts great review of this:
"Waking Life" could not come at a better time. Opening in these sad and fearful days after Sept. 11, it celebrates a series of articulate, intelligent characters who seek out the meaning of their existence and do not have the answers. At a time when madmen think they have the right to kill us because of what they think they know about an afterlife, which is by definition unknowable, those who don't know the answers are the only ones asking sane questions. True believers owe it to the rest of us to seek solutions that are reasonable in the visible world.
The movie is like a cold shower of bracing, clarifying ideas. We feel cleansed of boredom, indifference, futility and the deadening tyranny of the mundane. The characters walk around passionately discussing ideas, theories, ultimate purposes--just as we've started doing again since the complacent routine of our society was shaken. When we were students we often spoke like this, but in adult life, it is hard to find intelligent conversation. "What is my purpose?" is replaced by "What did the market do today?"
The movie is as exhilarating in its style and visuals as in its ideas- -indeed, the two are interlocked. Richard Linklater and his collaborators have filmed a series of conversations, debates, rants, monologues and speculations, and then animated their film using a new process which creates a shimmering, pulsating life on the screen: This movie seems alive, seems vibrating with urgency and excitement.
The animation is curiously realistic. A still from the film would look to you like a drawing. But go to www.wakinglifemovie.com and click on the clips to see how the sound and movement have an effect that is eerily lifelike. The most difficult thing for an animator may be to capture an unplanned, spontaneous movement that expresses personality. By filming real people and then animating them, "Waking Life" captures little moments of real life: A musician putting down her cigarette, a double-take, someone listening while eager to start talking again, a guy smiling as if to say, "I'm not really smiling." And the dialogue has the true ring of everyday life, perhaps because most of the actors helped create their own words: The movie doesn't sound like a script but like eavesdropping.
The film's hero, not given a name, is played by Wiley Wiggins as a young man who has returned to the town where once, years ago, a playmate's folding paper toy (we used to call them "cootie catchers") unfolded to show him the words, "dream is destiny." He seems to be in a dream, and complains that although he knows it's a dream, he can't awaken. He wanders from one person and place to another (something like the camera did in Linklater's first film, "Slacker"). He encounters theories, beliefs, sanity, nuttiness. People try to explain what they believe, but he is overwhelmed until finally he is able to see that the answer is--curiosity itself. To not have the answers is expected. To not ask questions is a crime against your own mind.
If I have made the movie sound somber and contemplative, I have been unfair to it. Few movies are more cheerful and alive. The people encountered by the dreamer in his journey are intoxicated by their ideas--deliriously verbal. We recognize some of them: Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, from Linklater's "Before Sunrise," continue their conversation. Speed Levitch, the manic tour guide from the documentary "Cruise," is still on his guided tour of life. Other characters are long known to Linklater, including Robert C. Solomon, a philosopher at the University of Texas, who comes onscreen to say something Linklater remembers him saying in a lecture years ago, that existentialism offers more hope than predestination, because it gives us a reason to try to change things.
I have seen "Waking Life" three times now. I want to see it again-- not to master it, or even to remember it better (I would not want to read the screenplay), but simply to experience all of these ideas, all of this passion, the very act of trying to figure things out. It must be depressing to believe that you have been supplied with all the answers, that you must believe them and to question them is disloyal, or a sin. Were we given minds in order to fear their questions?
-- Sam (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 03, 2002.