31 December 2005

Waking Life

Every year for Christmas my dad's wife's family has a big gift exchange; everyone brings one gift worth roughly $10 and ends up with someone else's.  Last year I contributed a DVD copy of the movie Waking Life.  My dad ended up with it and promised to watch it sometime, but I knew he'd never get around to it.  I then put off buying it all year since I knew he'd gladly give it back next time I was home, which he did.  (This year I took DVDs of The Ref and Trading Places, which passed through my dad's hands but I "stole" and ended up with.)

Waking Life is the perfect movie to own on DVD: it never gets old.  It was made by shooting live action and animating over the footage in many styles, some vivid, some surreal, some sketchy.  The story follows a mostly silent protagonist around a dreamy world full of interesting people and Austin scenery.  The philosophical musings are sometimes sophomoric, but they're often insightful and at worst provocative.  The music is both energetic and edgy.  But the real star is the animation, which is expressive, beautiful, clever, jolting.  It enhances every scene with an appropriate atmosphere.  Waking Life is a world I like to return to.


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