Listening to Waking Life


This past few days I've been experiencing Richard Linklater's Waking Life by just listening to the soundtrack through my walkman. With the visuals removed it becomes a dizzying cacophony of words and thoughts, but also allows the listener to concentrate on the ideas. Some sections are shouty and angry and other simply don't work without the animation. But others offer an excellent introduction to existentialism or dream theory. I understood the gentleman who expounds on the work of Andre Bazin for the first time and loved the girl who doesn't want us all to be ants. A transcript of the film is available here. The follow choice quotes really sprung out at me and seemed relevant:
"Allegedly, the story goes like this. Billy Wilder runs into Louis Malle, this is in the late 50's, early 60's. And Louis Malle had just made his most expensive film, which has cost 2 1/2 million dollars. And Billy Wilder asks him what the film is about. And Louis Malle says "Well, it's sort of a dream within a dream." And Billy Wilder says "You just lost 2 1/2 million dollars."

"You a dreamer? [...] Haven't seen too many around lately. Things have been tough lately for dreamers. They say dreaming's dead, that no one does it anymore. It's not dead, it's just been forgotten. Removed from our language. No one teaches it so no one knows it exists. The dreamer is banished to obscurity. Well I'm trying to change all that, and I hope you are too. By dreaming every day. Dreaming with our hands and dreaming with our minds. Our planet is facing the greatest problems it's ever faced. Ever. So whatever you do, don't be bored. This is absolutely the most exciting time we could have possibly hoped to be alive. And things are just starting."

"I can remember thinking, "Oh, someday, like in my mid-thirties maybe, everything's going to just somehow gel and settle, just end." It was like there was this plateau, and it was waiting for me, and I was climbing up it, and when I got to the top, all growth and change would stop. Even exhilaration. But that hasn't happened like that, thank goodness. I think that what we don't take into account when we're young is our endless curiosity. That's what's so great about being human."

"Thomas Mann wrote that he would rather participate in life than write 100 stories."
Who would have thought a good arguement against blogging could come from a man who died fifty years ago? Surely the point would be though that you live life so that you can write about it.

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