Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Waking Life, or Sleeping 

Now that the softball season is over (for a month or so until next season begins), my Monday nights are going to be boring. Last night was Monday, so I decided to watch a movie I'd gotten from Netflix. The movie was an animated one, and I typically don't go for animated films, but this one looked like it could have that independant, artistic flair that would make it worthwhile. It was called Waking Life, but as the film progressed and I dozed in and out of bored consciousness, I thought it might have been inappropriately titled. The animation styles employed were very interesting, but the movie was pretty boring. It was like sitting around in a coffee shop at a table of college students who had just taken Philosophy 101 and listening to them try and sound intelligent in their conversation, when all they were actually doing was quoting people like Sartre, Hume, Descartes, and Co. There was one scene in the movie where four young men, who appeared to be members of a politically oriented punk rock band, were walking along and talking when they happen upon an old man who had climbed a telephone pole. They call out to him, "Hey, old man, whatcha doing?" He yelled down, "I don't know!" They asked, "Do you need help getting down?" He said, glancing down, "Naw...don't think so." They walked on, one commenting to the others, "He's not so different from us. He's all action and no theory; we're all theory, no action.

I quickly remarked to myself, "And this film is too much theory, not enough understanding." It tried to be a treatise (usually these are best kept to the medium of writing, as they make for boring films) on existential philosophy, without really having a grasp on what the philosophers were trying to say. Now, I'm not saying that I do, but I would look for more engagement with them than simply watching people sit around and quote them. Anyone who can read can do that.

I gave the movie two stars, because it had so much potential, but, in my opinion, fell flat. Rent at your own risk.



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