Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Waking Life (2001)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Waking Life (2001)

In Richard Linklater's innovative, digitally shot, computer rotoscope-animated dreamy, existential, and spiritual cult classic:

  • the many intelligent, explorative and surreal speeches on dreams, reality, the universe, life and death -- faced by 'The Dreamer' (Wiley Wiggins) and other lead characters including Celine and Jesse (Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke from Before Sunrise (1995)) - who discussed reincarnation in bed
  • the Boat Car Guy's (Bill Wise) words about life as a crayon box: "It's like you come onto this planet with a crayon box. Now you may get the 8 pack, you may get the 16 pack, but it's all in what you do with the crayons - the colors - that you're given. Don't worry about coloring within the lines or coloring outside the lines. I say color outside the lines, you know what I mean? Color all over the page. Don't box me in! We're in motion to the ocean. We are not land locked, I'll tell ya that"
  • various other segments include Steven Soderbergh's (Himself) interview on TV about an encounter between directors Louis Malle and Billy Wilder
  • the idea that there was a similarity between sleep and death: ("Doesn't it make sense that death, too, would be wrapped in a dream...except that, in the post-mortal state, you could never again wake up...")
  • Timothy ' Speed' Levitch's (Himself) rambling, spellbinding speech about identity and reality on a bridge: ("...And so many think because then happened, now isn't. But didn't I mention? The ongoing WOW is happening right NOW...")
  • the Pinball Playing Guy's (director Richard Linklater) long, sublime speech about existence and God: ("Behind the phenomenal difference there is but one story, and that's the story of moving from the 'No' to the 'Yes.' All of life is like, 'No thank you, No thank you, No thank you.' And then, ultimately, it's, 'Yes I give in, Yes I accept, Yes I embrace.'") and his advice to The Dreamer ("If you can wake up, you should, 'cause someday you won't be able to, so just um...but it's easy....just wake up")
  • the wonderfully ambiguous ending in which the Dreamer levitated and floated into the sky, never to return (is he waking up? is he dead?)


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