Waking Life

Waking Life ★★★½


Third viewing, first since 2002. A lot has happened to me since then, dreamwise—I now have occasional lucid dreams*, which had never happened to me back then, and have also experienced multiple consecutive false awakenings, which really is disturbing as hell. (The factoid mentioned here about adjusting light levels is 100% true, by the way. When I suspect that I'm still dreaming, after seeming to awaken in my bed, I head for the bathroom and try to turn on the light, which never works and usually wakes me up instantly for real. What's more, the house is always darker than it should be, though it's hard to perceive that in the moment.) So I identified more with Wiggins' feeling of being semi-pleasantly, semi-creepily trapped than I did before. There's still way more philosophizing than I'd prefer, though—here's the professional review I wrote at the time of its release (in which I imply a familiarity with hallucinogens that I did not have, and still don't).

* My all-time favorite had me abruptly break into awareness ("This is a dream, this is a dream, this is a dream," I kept repeating), then suddenly find myself running through the backyard of my childhood house, prompting me to laugh aloud and actually shout derisively "I haven't lived in this house since like 1985!" (Not sure who that criticism was directed at. Whatever part of my brain supplies the oneiric material, I guess.) I then, no joke, started singing Blondie's "Dreaming," and intentionally took flight. It was amazing.