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Waking Life [Blu-ray]
(Richard Linklater, 2001)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Fox Searchlight Pictures
Video: Arrow Video
Region: 'B' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 43,025,152,880 bytes
Feature Size: 18,703,175,232 bytes
Video Bitrate: 19.69 Mbps
Case: Transparent Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: March 14th, 2016
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 3202 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3202 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
English (SDH), none
•Commentary by writer-director Richard Linklater, art director Bob Sabiston, actor Wiley Wiggins and producer Tommy Pallotta
• Commentary by the 25-strong animation team
• A selection of Bob Sabiston's short films, including The Trees (1991 - :34), God's Little Monkey (2:06), Project Incognito (1997 - 20:17), Snack and Drink (1999 - 3:44), Figures of Speech (1999 - 30:46), Grasshopper (2003 - 14:30), Ryan's Capitol Tour (2006 - 6:34) and The Even More Fun Trip (2007 - 22:36)
• Original making of featurette including interviews with Linklater, Sabiston and Pallotta (4:44)
• Animation tutorial with Sabiston (20:23)
• Deleted and alternative animation sequences (7:32)
• Pre-animation live action footage captured on Mini DV (12:01)
• Trivia subtitle track written by Linklater
• Theatrical trailer (1:59)
• The first pressing also includes a booklet containing new writing on the film by critic David Jenkins and a guide to Bob Sabiston's short films
Dual-Format with DVD included
Description: In 2001 writer-director Richard Linklater
released a spiritual sequel to his acclaimed early features
Before Sunrise. Taking its cue from their
walk-and-talk stream of consciousness, Waking Life
enquired into the relationship between dreams and the big
screen, and how cinema captures the phantasy state.
Richard Linklater returned to the semi-improvised approach and philosophical themes of his debut feature Slacker while embracing a new and groundbreaking visual technology in his sixth feature film, Waking Life. Linklater and cameraman Tommy Pallotta shot the film on location in Austin, TX, using digital video equipment. Linklater and digital animator Bob Sabiston then used newly developed computer software to transform the images through a process called "interpolated rotoscoping"; the result merges the naturalism of live action with a stylized look that resembles a cartoon or a painting in motion. Waking Life's flexible, non-narrative approach follows a young man (Wiley Wiggins) who arrives in Austin and hitches a ride with a stranger, who engages him in a conversation about rarely considered facets of existentialism. As the visitor drifts through the city, he encounters a variety of people and finds himself absorbing their views on art, philosophy, society, and numerous other issues of contemporary life. Linklater's cast is dotted with well-known actors (Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy, Adam Goldberg, Nicky Katt) and pop-culture notables (filmmaker Steven Soderbergh, Martin Scorsese associate Steven Prince, comic Louis Black), alongside a large number of relatively little-known players. Waking Life received its world premiere at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival; Linklater's next film, Tape, was also screened at the same festival.Excerpt from MRQE located HERE
Acclaimed in the US, Linklater's movie has Wiley Wiggins, the lanky
Dazed and Confused,
bumping pinball-style from one encounter to the next, with each
acquaintance offloading his or her own pet theory of life, the universe
and everything. Among them are the likes of Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy
, Austin, Texas's finest characters and crazies, and Linklater himself.
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
NOTE: A Blu-ray came out in Germany in 2012 HERE, but I don't own it to compare.
Waking Life looks so impressive on Blu-ray from Arrow Films in the UK. Although it is dual-layered with a modest bitrate - one of the advantages of its process of creation is the ability to seamlessly transfer the final product to 1080P. Colors are rich and tight and it moves rhythmically like a floating camera. It is in the original 1.85:1 aspect ratio and contrast and detail are exceptionally strong. This Blu-ray looks excellent in-motion offering a hypnotic presentation that you can't turn away from.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
The Blu-ray's sound is equal to the brilliant visuals. Arrow uses a DTS-HD Master 5.1 at a healthy 3202 kbps (24-bit). Accordionist Glover Gill is credited with the fabulous score (with Tosca Tango Orchestra) that runs beside the film fittingly adding to the film's surreal and dreamlike state. It sounds beautiful in lossless with a some adroit separations - although the film is limited in these effects. There are optional English (SDH) subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked.
The commentary tracks by writer-director Richard Linklater, art director Bob Sabiston, actor Wiley Wiggins and producer Tommy Pallotta and the second one with the 25-strong animation team were originally on the 2002 DVD and they still hold value with the filmmakers reflect on the production process. The same can be said for the Trivia subtitled track written by Linklater - another option. We get a selection of Bob Sabiston's short films - over 1.5 hour's worth and they are majority the animation-style and are very engaging from the very short to the lengthier. Arrow include the original, 5-minute, making of featurette including interviews with Linklater, Sabiston and Pallotta plus a 20-minute Animation tutorial with Sabiston which is educational. Some might be keen on the 8-minutes worth of deleted and alternative animation sequences and the dozen-minutes of pre-animation live action footage captured on Mini DV. There is a theatrical trailer and the package's first pressing also includes a booklet containing new writing on the film by critic David Jenkins and a guide to Bob Sabiston's short films. This is dual-format and includes a DVD.
March 8th, 2016
About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.
Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who
focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I
find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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