Hecate’s thoughts on Waking Life and personal interpretation and a review of it
Waking Life has got to be one of my favorite movies of all times and for good reason. I enjoyed every second of it. For those of you who have never heard of this movie, an animated movie from 2001, it deals with metaphysics, questions of morals and principles, the meaning of life, as well as concepts like free will, beauty in suffering, existentialism, love and fear, depression, the soul and incarnation, evolution, politics, media, linguistics, and the list goes on.
I don’t know how I never came cross to this movie before, but I’m glad Mačka recommended it to me. Mačka knows what’s worth of my time and attention. I hate to admit it, but I rarely watch movies because I get bored easily. Also, most movies fail to hold my attention span for too long. I am not saying that most of the movies are boring, quite on the contrary. What I am trying to say is that it is nearly impossible for me to be blown away by a movie. But now I can finally say that this was one of the movies that really blew me away, besides The Joker.
What exactly made me so fascinated by it? Well, a lot of things. But let’s start from the scratch. First off, even though this is an animated movie, I found it extremely realistic. This had to be the realest movie ever. Everything from the facial expressions, the intonation of character’s voices, body language and mimic was up to the task, and it all felt so real and touchable. Everything about the characters seemed so natural, humble, and wise. The movie itself is not one story, but rather many stories being told by many different characters. I found that interesting because each character brought a new viewpoint on life and people in general. One character spoke about despair, another of rebirth and our evolution, others spoke about free will, all ordinary people still trying to figure out life. The director of the movie intended to spread awareness on certain issues, share interesting thoughts and different perspectives on life, existentialism and present them in an artistic and interactive manner, which he definitely succeeded in doing. Besides the content itself, I really enjoyed the visual aspects of the movie, graphics and animation. As I mentioned earlier, it felt extremely real.
*(Mačka stepping in here as editor, this is because while the movie was shot in live action it was then rotoscoped and animated frame by frame by different groups of painters for each scene. Richard Linklater who wrote and directed this movie used the same technique in 2001s A Scanner Darkly)*
My favorite quote:
‘’The gap, let’ say, between Aristotle and Nietzsche is greater than the gap between that chimpanzee and an average human.’’
How do I understand this? Well, majority of people are led by their ‘id’ or, in other words, their subconscious, primal instincts and desires. Not to mention their auto-pilot mode which makes people function like robots, following the rules and orders, without questioning the world and systems at work around them and without questioning themselves. They lack self-awareness, they do not understand themselves, nor the people around them. On the other hand, philosophers Aristotle and Nietzsche both share their passion for truth-seeking and love for wisdom yet share completely different philosophies and ethics. Concerning human nature, Aristotle was of view that we are just political animals that other people and institutions help grow. Nietzsche, on the other hand, argued that man is self-sabotaging and self-ignorant and need other people to help us realize our worth and qualities. The purpose of this article is not to discuss philosophers because that would be way too long of a sidetrack, but I’ll cover some of Aristotle’s and Nietzsche’s philosophies in one of the next articles, so stay tuned for that.
The question I found most interesting:
“Which is the most universal human characteristic? Fear or laziness?”
This question was proposed by an old man in a pub while he was talking to the main character. In my opinion, fear and laziness are both universal human characteristic which, as Nietzsche already argued, causes a self-sabotage. Self-sabotage comes in many different forms, such as procrastination, fear of unknown, fear of anything that is new and foreign, fear of getting out of the comfort zone. This causes a man to embrace mediocrity and prevents him from reaching his full potential. I believe, one of the saddest things in life has to be wasted potential. One must decide if he wants to be the Hero or the Victim. If you ever found yourself doubting in yourself, you shall be aware that every change is gradual and that it takes a lot of sacrifice (time, money, leaving the comfort-zone, family, friends) to make a step forward. But what keeps a man from reaching his full potential is self-doubt and fear of unknown.
My dearest readers, I hope you enjoyed my interpretation of Waking Life, and hopefully I motivated you to watch the movie, in case you haven’t watched it yet. I’ll be writing more on philosophy and psychology soon, so make an account and subscribe for updates from my blog. The second part of the first chapter of Memoir of Hecate is coming out soon as well.
Till next time,