Very rarely, after viewing a film, do I think, “I gotta see that again.” Even more rarely do I say to myself, “I must own a copy of that.” But, I saw Richard Linklater’s “Waking Life” last night and then went directly to Amazon to check out the price. I think the last time I felt this way about a film was after I saw The Iron Giant. I’m a sucker for well-done animation with pseudo-religious philosophical themes.
I was confused at first, trying to put together all of the philosophical detritus the characters were spouting into a common theme, but then I realized that there was no real theme. The object of the movie is to get you to think, and it succeeds. If you listen to the whole movie, a few of the bromides and philosophical ramblings will rise above the level of meta-reality mumbo jumbo and hit you square in the brain. You carry away a few weighty nuggets for later meditation, loosely coupled with a vague urge to “wake up and live life.”
And like the Lion King, you can simply put the audio into background, quit trying to figure anything out and feast your eyes on an extraordinary feast for your eyes. It was not just a film, but a work of art — abstract art in places. Worth repeated viewings. Worth owning.