Waking Life

Release Date: October 19, 2001
Limited release

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The basic storyline for Waking Life centers on one man who walks through what may or may not be a dream. As is often the case in dreams and group activities, he drifts in and out of various situations, encountering many unique characters along the way.

There's not a lot of information out there about Waking Life, probably in part because writer/director Richard Linklater wants to keep audiences in the dark about whether the main character is dreaming or not, but also likely because the filming process is quite unusual. Although Waking Life combines live action with animation, it does so in a most original way. Through a process called rotoscoping, the movie was first filmed digitally, then the scenes were later animated, with each live character being reinvented in animation by individual artists, creating a sort of live action/animation hybrid. According to the buzz, the resulting visuals are stunning, adding an additional level of nuance to the characters and the plot.

But what makes the critics dance jigs and film festivals such as the prestigious Sundance Festival, where this film debuted earlier this year and was nominated for a Golden Lion, is not necessarily what brings audiences into the theater. And as has been shown by masters such as Kurosawa and Kubrick, and films such as What Dreams May Come, amazing imagery and unconventional, non-linear storytelling is a hard sell to mainstream audiences. Fox Searchlight, 20th's more avant-garde arm, is currently planning a limited release; how limited has not yet been determined, but it would be highly unusual for this film to break out of the art-house circuit. However, those who are fascinated with film technique and who are drawn to visionary storytelling should find this a most interesting exercise in the filmmaker's art. (Stephanie Star Smith/BOP)

Vital statistics for Waking Life
Main Cast Trevor Jack Brooks, Lorelei Linklater, Wiley Wiggins
Supporting Cast Glover Gill, Lara Hicks, Ames Asbell, Leigh Mahoney, Sara Nelson, Jeanine Attaway, Erik Grostic
Director Richard Linklater
Screenwriter Richard Linklater
Distributor Fox Searchlight
Trailer Click Here for Trailer
Official Site http://www.foxhome.com/wakinglife/
Rating R
Running Time 99 minutes
Screen Count 4
Awards Awards page for Waking Life
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture



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