Sunday 17 February 2008

Waking Life - Delpy and Hawke share the ITLADian perspective?!?!?

Waking life is one of my favourite movies of all time and I found myself watching it again last night. During one scene/dream between Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, i was amazed to realise that during their conversation, the couple are subscribing to Tony's theory about time being subjective, about how the final few minutes of brain activity could arguably be your whole life. They also discuss the time distortion of dreams aswell as several other topics relevant to such discussions. The two of them were of course happily paired together after making the two previous romances "Before Sunrise" and "Before Sunset." These films are incredibly dialogue fuelled, and both masterpieces and i would recommend anyone who hasn't seen them to check them out. (particularly Karl being the little romantic that you are!) So anyway, back to Waking Life. Waking life is a film length look at dreams within dreams. A boy (we presume) keeps having false awakenings and bounces about from one interesting discussion to the next. It's incredibley clever and achieves it's goal of explaining the unexplainable. Here is the extract in question in which Delpy and Hawke's characters discuss a rather ITLADian perspective:

I keep thinking about something you said.
- Something I said? - Yeah.
About how you often feel like you're observing your life...
from the perspective of an old woman about to die.
- You remember that? - Yeah. I still feel that way sometimes.
Like I'm looking back on my life.
Like my waking life is her memories.
I heard that Tim Leary said as he was dying...
that he was looking forward to the moment...
when his body was dead, but his brain was still alive.
They say that there's still 6 to 12 minutes of brain activity after everything is shut down.
And a second of dream consciousness, right,
well, that's infinitely longer than a waking second.
- You know what I'm saying? - Oh, yeah, definitely.
For example, I wake up and it's 10:12
and then I go back to sleep and I have those long, intricate,
beautiful dreams that seem to last for hours,
and then I wake up and it's... 10:13 .
Exactly. So then 6 to 12 minutes of brain activity,
I mean, that could be your whole life.
I mean, you are that woman looking back over everything.
Okay, so what if I am? Then what would you be in all that?
Whatever I am right now.
I mean, yeah, maybe I only exist in your mind.
I'm still just as real as anything else.
- I've been thinking also about something you said. - What's that?
Just about reincarnation and where all the new souls come from over time.
Everybody always say that they've been the reincarnation...
of Cleopatra or Alexander the Great.
I always want to tell them they were probably some dumb fuck like everybody else.
I mean, it's impossible. Think about it.
The world population has doubled in the past 40years, right?
- So if you really believe in that ego thing of one eternal soul, - Mm-hmm.
then you only have a 50% chance of your soul being over 40.
And for it to be over 150 years old, then it's only one out of six.
So what are you saying then? Reincarnation doesn't exist...
or that we're all young souls like where half of us are first-round humans?
No, no. What I'm trying to say is that somehow I believe...
reincarnation is just a--
a poetic expression of what collective memory really is.
There was this article by this biochemist that I read not long ago,
and he was talking about how when a member of a species is born,
it has a billion years of memory to draw on.
And this is where we inherit our instincts.
I like that. It's like there's, um,
this whole telepathic thing going on that we’re all a part of,
whether we’re conscious of it or not.
That would explain why there's all these, you know,
seemingly spontaneous, worldwide, innovative leaps in science, in the arts.
You know, like the same results poppin' up everywhere independent of each other.
Some guy on a computer, he figures something out,
and then almost simultaneously, a bunch of other people all over the world...
- figure out the same thing. - Mm-hmm.
They did this study. They isolated a group of people over time,
and they monitored their abilities at crossword puzzles...
in relation to the general population.
And then they secretly gave them a day-old crossword,
one that had already been answered by thousands of other people.
Their scores went up dramatically, like percent.
So it's like once the answers are out there,
you know, people can pick up on 'em.
It's like we're all telepathically sharing our experiences.

Yet another one for your ever growing list Anthony! This is just one out of about 15 scenes/dreams like this in the film. Go watch it now!



SM Kovalinsky said...

HurlyBurly- Thanks for a wonderful post. And your name is Martin; I had actually come to believe it was Hurly.

Anthony Peake said...

Wow and thrice Wow!

As I mentioned to you when we met I recorded Waking Life when it was shown on UK television a few months ago. I watched the first 15 or so minutes and enjoyed it (love Linklater's use of 'rotoscoping'). However I found the beauty of the images distracting from the content and as I had a lot of other things to do (such as editing my next book) I rather gave up and the tape ended up being taped over. Clearly my Daemon was not active at that time because this dialogue is simply priceless with regard to CTF and ITLAD. I guess my Daemon knew that you would put this posting on.

It would be great if we could make some form of contact with the scriptwriter (was it Linklater himself?) because I am sure that he/she would be fascinated by what we are discussing here.

Thanks again Martin - I am surprised that there have not been more gasps and postings from the rest of the team with regard to this post.

Hurlyburly said...

If you make contact with Richard Linklater (yes he did direct and write the movie), please make sure you mention my name and tell him to consider me for his next "dazed and confused" in "a call center" type role!!

I can't believe you turned it off! If i can find a copy i will send it to you along with Science of Sleep, 12 monkeys, Googlewhack adventure and about 50 others!

Here is the link for the scene i have posted

The scene in question kicks in 1 minute exactly into the clip so be patient.

Karl Le Marcs said...

Ah films yes,
*shuffles uncomfortably*
Is there maybe a book I can read instead.
Maybe HurlyBurly you could give me a "priority five" list of movies to watch first.

Hurlyburly said...

Is that your sensible contribution to MY post then?

I presume you can read the script i have posted for the benefit of those who have not seen the film

Sheeez Karl.... Sheeeez!!!!

But seriously, that all you got. Come on clever man, SAY SOMETHING!!!!! And i'm 60 % thinking that that last line was covered in sarcasm but i can't be certain so could you clarify!!!

Karl Le Marcs said...

What is it today with people false inferring Sarcasm from me? First Susan Marie (elsewhere on here) and now your good self.
Knowing my writing style on here, as you do, if I was being sarcastic you could expect to see something like this.

No, I was serious in asking you to list possibly 5 films that I MUST watch relating to Tony's theories etc.
And as for a lack of a clever aside from myself, I don't feel qualified to comment having not seen the film. Having said that, from your transcript and post I can understand Tony's comments.
And; "Sheeez Karl.... Sheeeez!!!!", have you turned Jewish all of a sudden, or already (obviously)
*shrugs and giggles at same time thereby doubling the intensity of initial shrug leaving one somewhat doing a Dennis Healy impression*