I’ve had a lot of great film festival experiences over the years, but I don’t know that any of them were as wonderful top to bottom as the 2001 SXSW, where over the course of about four days I saw Memento, Amores Perros, Ginger Snaps, Super Troopers, Doug Pray’s documentary Scratch, Alan Berliner’s doc The Sweetest Sound, a special presentation of Monte Hellman’s classic Cockfighter, and a secret screening of Richard Linklater’s Waking Life. The latter played at downtown Austin’s Paramount Theater, which appears in the film briefly—a moment that only added to the overall trippy feel when I saw it at SXSW. Not that the movie needs much help. I understand why some people don’t dig Waking Life: It’s like one long, intoxicated dorm-room bull-session between 19-year-old liberal arts majors, babbling about what dreaming really means. But the Bob Sapiston-supervised rotoscoped animation puts the philosophizing in an appealingly psychedelic context, and just as Linklater did with Slacker, Dazed & Confused, and Before Sunrise, he cuts together the conversations into a film that moves, covering a lot of ground—and with humor and insight to boot. Waking Life airs on Starz’s Indieplex channel at 9 p.m. Eastern.
February 17, 2015 Cable Pick Of The Day