I should have seen this thirteen years ago. Come to think of it, I think I did see Slacker right around that time. That probably explains why I remember him so fondly. It sort of resonated with what was my life back then. Waking life somehow managed to pass me by. I figured it was Linklater soon enough. Rotoscopy reminded me of Scanner Darkly and once there it was rather simple to make a cognitive leap. Still, I hang on to my introductionary thought – I should have seen this thirteen years ago when all of this was fairly new. After a decade of experience, countless hours of reading and more or less pedantic research that went along the lines of thought present in this movie, Waking life seemed basic. It resonated with remnants of past me (which, I have to admit, integrated itself rather nicely into a dreamlike quality of an entire movie) but failed to do anything else.
I understand that this may not be a fair viewpoint. After all, one should strive to “judge” the movie on its own terms (there’s a new 18yr old every minute who just had neither time nor opportunity to acquaint himself with parts of philosophy present in Linklater’s movie), though I’ve discarded that approach long time ago. I’m no movie historian nor am I interested in that kind of writing on this blog. Whether fair or not, the approach is viable – especially if you remember those movies that just sort of enrich themselves over time, becoming more and more complex as they interact with accumulated experience. Linklater managed to catch a whiff of the zeitgeist of new millennium (though his postmodernics and cerebral constructivisms are rather old, as artistic strategy that is), that much I’ll admit. Though whether there’s something more underneath the layer upon layer of citations and self-referential, recursive, meta-sentences I cannot say. In any case, if there is, I failed to notice it.
Waking life is massively egocentric movie. I have no problem with that. Had it with the concept of “the almighty public” which is supposed to be a final validator of anything. If I force myself to look at it as what it is – as an egocentric movie – than I can almost admire it. Fact still remains that main philosophical outline is rather primitive (that’s because it was probably tailored to suit 20yr old – even Linklater can’t say no to the economy. Gotta eat somehow), fact remains that bricolage isn’t that impressive anymore (as a game it’s still viable to a degree, as a strategy it’s pointless), and fact remains that – as far as ontological, existential and epistemological questions are concerned – Waking life stinks too much of fruitless new-age-hipster-like-postmodernity to appease me anymore. There was a time and place for Waking life. Though I have some nostalgic longing for that time and that place, my early thirties are making me travel on different, far more complex, routes. Still, world doesn’t revolve around me (as far as I can tell). Waking life will find its audience once again. Whoever they might be, it’ll probably do them good. Come to think of it, there’s not much more that we can ask from a movie.
|Directed by||Richard Linklater|
|Produced by||Tommy Pallotta
|Written by||Richard Linklater|
|Music by||Glover Gill|
|Editing by||Sandra Adair|