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Last night we watched Dead Friend (or the real name, Ryeong) and then immediately watched Waking Life.

The first hour of Waking Life just made me mad for one reason or another. It was like having a very long, deep conversation with someone where you feel restrained to *not* vocally disagree with them when you feel like they're spouting utter fucking nonsense. It's like having your grandma get existential on you about humans, what we "mean", if we "mean" and what that all "means". Some of the things I liked, but even as with real people, real writers, it was a sentence or two out of an entire narrative that struck me and made me wish that that was where they stopped.
But they don't stop there. They keep on until it's done, giving me the rest of the story that I didn't necessarily want, but that is necessary if I ever want to get their part of the truth.

Some of the segments literally made me mad. Others I did a lot of eye rolling. A few were honestly touching. And the thing is... had I stopped watching halfway through I never would have had an opinion other than "this is self indulgent intellectual wank". But by watching the whole thing I feel like it came full circle and I needed those people I whole heartedly disagree with in order to prove how much I agree with other, different people.

I don't know. It's hard to explain without talking about it in too much detail. I won't read the reviews of it becuase I know they'll be terrible. If nothing else, it felt like an interesting conversation as a whole. I didn't agree with everything that was said or even the motives of the people saying it, and I'm pretty sure I wasn't supposed to. Like anything we do, you take from it what makes sense and consider the rest just an interesting ride.

Also, the person you're following through all this kept striking me as my dreamer-stoner friend Chuck from highschool mixed with an equal dose of Starchy. So that was good and strange.


( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 2nd, 2005 07:11 pm (UTC)
god i hated waking life
May. 2nd, 2005 07:28 pm (UTC)
After the first hour I was really really annoyed by it all. I got over my "ooh, lets sit around and say deep things to each other" urge around age 16. But I stuck it out and we watched the rest and I realized that hating some of the things that were said was sort of the point.That, even though I couldn't agree with what they were saying, I could appreciate that they took the time to say it. But then, I also like the sort of book where the main character is someone you hate.

Also, the segment about film turned it around completely for me. Because I feel that way about film, the holy moment, the concept of the layers of stories and capturing god, etc. And the Phillip K Dick segment at the end is good brain fodder, the idea of there being one moment and that life is a series of saying no until you say yes.

I think that if I'd seen it say .. 2 years ago.. I would have hated it thoroughly. I think that shifts in my own idealism and philisophical standings have helped me be a little more wishy washy about what is important and that helps take something like this with more equanimity. I didn't understand then how I felt about things so I wouldn't have known what to accept and what to reject and would therefore just feel like I was being forcefed a lot of intellectual pablum.

Heh, basically, hating it is just fine. I'm not confronting here, I'm just curious, what was it you hated? I've heard a lot of complaints about the animation, which I can see being too much.

May. 2nd, 2005 07:32 pm (UTC)
It was too fucking pretentious. I switched off halfway through and spent the rest of the film time looking at my shoes.
May. 2nd, 2005 08:38 pm (UTC)
Oh. I thought you'd watched the whole thing.
May. 2nd, 2005 08:41 pm (UTC)
I was certainly in the movie theater for the whole thing.
May. 2nd, 2005 08:45 pm (UTC)
hehe.. yeah.. and I was always in the room while my dad rabbitted on at me about work... doesn't mean I actually heard any of it.
May. 2nd, 2005 08:51 pm (UTC)
May. 2nd, 2005 11:33 pm (UTC)
Hm. I never saw it, but maybe I should get hold of it and fast forward to the film and Dick parts. I need more Dick. Um, you know, to READ. :-) [/me is sadly lacking in PKD reading]

I note that Linklater is doing an adaptation of A Scanner Darkly at the moment, apparently in a similar animated way to Waking Life, if the trailer is any indication.
May. 3rd, 2005 02:47 am (UTC)
Yeah, it's using the rotoscope software to animate over the actors. Not quite as ... free form... as waking life. I think that it actually makes sense given the story and Linklater is obviously a fan so hopefully it's pretty faithful.
May. 3rd, 2005 05:18 am (UTC)
I shall reserve judgement. *nod*

Rotoscoping has come a long way from Koko the Clown to PKD...
May. 2nd, 2005 08:58 pm (UTC)
I'm one half of Wiley Wiggins? I, um... right.

I think your assessment is pretty much in line with my own. Some of it is annoying and/or obnoxious and/or pretentious, but some of it is absolutely delightful. Who was chosen for an interview and why seems to have had more to do with whom Linklater thought would be interesting than whom would better fit the final product. I really could've lived without Hawke and Delpy, but then I hated Before Sunrise with a passion. Several passions, even.

Also, that was Linklater playing pinball and giving the Dick monologue -- maybe a bit of a cheap way to tie the film back together (Hi, I'm the director, and here's my inspiration for the movie you've been watching. Now back to the show!), but it was necessary, and, as you say, one of the best parts. Which also does a good job of pointing out some of the flaws in the whole thing.

In the end, I see it as an experiment first and foremost, which might not have been entirely successful, but certainly had its value.
May. 2nd, 2005 09:22 pm (UTC)
Heh, you're sort of mixed in there. The "dreamer" thing I think.

Honestly, I was still in the "HATE" portion of the movie when Hawke and Delpy were being faux-deep. I loathe Ethan Hawke (and therefore never saw Before Sunrise or uh .. most of his movies).

The Phillip K Dick monologue and the segment discussing film as the holy moment were my favorites and I think they did a lot for forgiving the rest of it that I hated. I think that in the end I kind of like the fact that I really really liked and really really disliked it in equal portions.

Plus, it made me want to talk about it. So yay.
May. 2nd, 2005 09:29 pm (UTC)
I just like the idea that people who have never met me can be reminded of me by a character. So yay.
May. 2nd, 2005 09:34 pm (UTC)
hhmm. Well when you put it that way... it sounds more like I don't know you. So yeah. Looking at it that way, I guess it's pretty bizarre.
I guess I just hadn't looked at it... that way.
May. 2nd, 2005 09:38 pm (UTC)
In some senses, no, you don't. In others, you know me better than some of the people I see on a daily basis (hell, some of the people I live with). The Internet is a never-ending case study in cognitive dissonance. And it goes well with gummi bears.
May. 10th, 2005 06:12 pm (UTC)
just checking around for other soul coughing/mike doughty fans and your lj came up. what's kinda weird is that i watched 'waking life' about the same time you did. odd.
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )


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