? WAKING LIFE
One question the movie raised was – what makes you any different from a character in your dream? Who is to say that they are not the dreamer, and your dream isn't just being made to fit whatever their mind is thinking. Maybe it could explain how some people feel they are drawing from memories that don't feel like their own when they are dreaming.
Many of the philosophical ideas discussed in it are a tad on the basic side of the spectrum. The film is attempting to give as wide a perspective on philosophy as possible, making this flurry of contradictory ideas into sort of an intellectual undergrowth for the possibilities of subjectively formulating a sort of meaning of life. It is also trying to make itself available for an audience who aren't knowledgeable about philosophy. Which of course is so ambitious that it has to go wrong in some way. But I think it should be judged on how it attempts to perform the task it actually sets for itself, rather than on it's academic and discoursive qualities, which are bound to be flawed and shallow as they are confined within the parametres of a movie.
Waking Life utilises dreams within dreams to try and make us aware of how mainstream cinema is about ensuring passivity and control.
The film touches on an important point about how people would want to live in a dream world, but not be told that they live in a dream world because it either a) disrupts the illusion or b) creates too large a frame of reference within which to place yourself. You are happy in a dream, but if you realise you're in a dream it makes you uncomfortable because you know you aren't living totally free.
Whats interesting about Waking Life is that two dream states are represented. The dream state which we are kept in by our masters, of which we are aware but not self-aware. And the dream state we aspire to become – true freedom. It's as the ukulele player says: "The trick is to combine your waking rational abilities with the infinite possibilities of your dreams. Because, if you can do that, you can do anything," followed by the line that a lot of people take for promoting suicide: "The worst mistake that you can make is to think you're alive when really you're asleep in life's waiting room."
So how do we remain in this 'bad' dream state. Through constant suppression of the dream state by the prohibition of psychedelic drugs is one answer. The other is hinted at in what is, in my opinion, the most important yet overlooked speech of the film, delivered by Steven Soderbergh:
Allegedly, the story goes like this: Billy Wilder runs into Louis Malle. This was in the late '50 s, early ' 60 s. And Louis Malle had just made his most expensive film, which had cost 2 and a 1/2 million dollars. And Billy Wilder asks him what the film is about. And Louis Malle says, "It's sort of a dream within a dream." And Billy Wilder says, "You just lost 2 and a 1/2 million dollars."<
Now what is this telling us? Link it back to the speech given by the monkey showing films (one of which, Kurosawa's "Dreams", is in itself a representation of dreams on cinema, a dream format given the promotion of Bazin's theories of cinema in the film) That makes it, literally, a dream within a dream. This is within the dream of the main character, who himself is in a dream of his own. HOWEVER, he is also being dreamt, since he is "swept up" at the end, much the same way that his younger self was, in his own dream at the beginning of the film, and much the same way that Kierkegaard meant when he said "sweep me up" on his death bed (mentioned by a character in the film), thus promoting either the Kierkegaardien idea of self-fulfillment or suicide as a means to a dream depending on your view.
Now the film itself is a dream medium as Bazin says. (Bazin was a promoter of realist cinema, particularly the neo-realist movement in Italy which sought to represent entirely factually real life without any "dream" which Hollywood had pervasively extended ever since the code was established in the early years of film-making). The genius of Waking Life, and particularly the film-reel scene is that it is actually a dream (Kurosawa's dreams), within a dream (Kurosawa's filmed version of his dreams), within a dream (the film medium), within a dream (the main character), within a dream (the main character's dream), within a dream (the ostensible dreamer of the dreamed character), within a dream (the film we are actually watching). That's seven stages of dreams. Six more than real life, and five more than films. The reason we perceive the ideas in Waking Life is because it constantly warns us we are in a dream by creating so many layers of separation. Hollywood only uses one layer because it wants us to realise we are watching a film, but not realise we ourselves are in a dream, and that what we are watching is meaningless. That's why we are so comfortable watching Hollywood films – because they allow us a momentary escape without challenging our passive view of the world and who we are.
And to go back to Soderbergh's speech in the film: the reason why Wilder said that Malle had just lost 2 and 1/2 million dollars was because Wilder, a master of the Hollywood "dream" construct, realised that the people can only be put through one stage of dreaming before they become agitated. A dream within a dream is two full stages of dreaming. This means that the audience don't just 'escape' from their mundane lives, but they become aware that the only reason they are watching this film is to escape from their mundane lives. This level of self-awareness makes the audience angry. They don't want to be criticised. They don't want to realise their life is bad. They just want to live passively in their dream state and not be told about it. This is why they will react badly and the film will flop. That speech is the key to unlocking the film.
Now the aim for "dreamers" like Linklater is to create a film with enough "dream" layers to both invoke awareness of who we are in this dream, and make us challenge our perceptions without making us feel so helpless in our dream layer that we end our lives.
TERM AND CONDITIONS
That's tough, as we are all ignorant about certain things in the world, but it is how yourecognize this ignorance in order to change that matters. People don't want to except that they are ignorant about certain subject so they do not change. It's like people who wrote books about how man could never fly, but a few guys didn't read that book and invented the flying machine. Sure that book is a product of his ignorance, but whether it is really his fault is another quesion in it's own.
Exactly, our ignorances stem out of our owrn cultural teachings and ideas. People are born into different ideas of what they value in life and what is or isn't important to them. But truth is more absolute, there are such things as right and wrong and ignorance can be handicap in finding truth. But those that know the truth about certain things, but are unwilling to take action and possibly reel them away from ignorance is worse.
It's tough, truth is in fact determined by cultural influences but certain aspects of our society do conform to the idea of an "absolute truth". Meaning there are certain aspects of our lifes that we know will occur, for instance death as it stands now is an "absolute truth" in the sense that it's a permenant "fact" of life. Now if you take religion for example, most people would say it's deterministic, yet they claim it's true but yet it's faith based which i claim is not a pathway to truth.
Narrowing down a definition of truth would occupy a large amount of time for me Considering it's possible to argue that truth is non existant, and that it's only a concept created by a thinking mind. But to generlize it, i'd say it's product of thought in order to understand our surroundings and other aspects of our lives. It's tough to say how you can relize truth, as it really varies by situation.
Religon tends to lack evidential claims, as you stated, how do you go about determining your God helped you through each day? it's simply a revolving beilef of "i beileve in God, hence everything that occurs in my life is up to him/it." But we have no even got past the hypothesis that a God even exists, so it's a failed argument of true from the get go. You have to prove your Gods existance before you move to the second phase of "hence he's resonsible for our lives"
Well we are all not capable of understand- ing certain aspects of our life and the uni- verse, that is not faith based so i fail to see how that produces actual truths. Faith relies on a feeling of truth, but emotions have little to do with determining what is true. We are standing on shoulders of giants under science, seeing a little more very frequently.
If you ever wanted to see an animated version of your Philosophy 101 this is your movie!
Heres the ten rules for being 'human being':
1. You will receive a BODY. You may like it ate it, but it will be yours for the entire period this time around
2. You will learn lessons. You are enrolled in a full-time informal school called LIFE Each day in this school you will have the opportunity to learn lessons. You may like the lessons or think them irrelevant and stupid.
3. There are no mistakes, only LESSONS! Growth" is a process of trial and error experimentation. The "failed" experiments are as much a part of the process as the experiment that ultimately works.
4. A lesson is repeated until LEARNED. A lesson will be presented in various forms, until you have learned it You can then go on to the next lesson.
5. Learning lessons does not end! There is no part of life that does not contain its lessons. If you are ALIVE, then there are lessons to be learned
6. "THERE" is no better than "HERE." When your "There" has become your "here," you will simply obtain another "There' that will look better than "Here."
7. Others are merely mirrors of yourself You cannot love or hate something about another person unless it reflects to you something that you love or hate about YOURSELF.
8. What you make of your life IS UP TO YOU. You have all the tools and resources you need. What you do with them is up to you! The choice is always yours.
9. YOUR ANSWER lies inside of you. The answers to Life's questions lie INSIDE of you. All you need to do is look, listen, and trust.
10. You will forget all of this.
This answer is the answer I always leave myself with when i'm done pondering the question. I'll probably always come back to thinking about it, having discussions with people about it, But I'm pretty damn thankful that I can be ignorant enough to enjoy the bliss of free will even if it's a false construct. It feels real, Like the Matrix if I was really going to be one of the millions of people who aren't Neo, Living the life of a destroyed earth, underground with killer robots, then stuff it planet earth is a much nicer alternative.
Honestly, the first and only time I've watched it, I was on acid. I really connected with everything that was said. The movie was life changing for me. I've been meaning to watch it not under the influence to see if it has the same effect but just haven't found the time
one of the things that struck me so much in this movie, is the fact that everything (visually) is made so intangible, always in motion – and exactly because of that, everything seems to be stable and constant! because if everything moves, then there doesn't seem to be the 'still centre', to which all that motion could be compared to – so everything seems still, in that motion.
Its a cross between intellectual conversations, people's personal beliefs, and the sort of surrealist reality of a dream.
Will some of it make you roll your eyes? Maybe – but I don't remember much of the movie having people claiming to know the secrets of the universe, its more their interpretations of it, and its presented as such.