Rarely does one come across undeveloped film anymore. My hot and cold affair with a medium format camera means I go through phases where I am reminded that real film has no equal--usually brought on by vacation and traveling to some place where everything looks new and different, followed by another 6-9 months of the camera sitting in a drawer. The iphone photos would have long ago been posted on instagram and forgotten. These are the circumstances under which I recently discovered several rolls of undeveloped film.
squarespace 6, now live.
"...the idea is to always remain in a state of constant departure, while always arriving."
when i first saw this film back in 2001, i recall dismissing it entirely as an exercise in rotoscoping. in retrospect, my only defense is that i wasn't ready for it. i was too concerned with its superficial formal strategies, and so i could only scratch at its surface. thinking on it now, rotoscoping as strategy to get the viewer to distance themselves and allow the idea of the uncanny to begin to unfold, is really quite effective.
the notion that a small thing can be off- and that this alone can be a signifier for either waking or dreaming states, is really useful when considering the potential of lucid dreaming.
and at the risk of going off the new age deep end, i have begun to think about this film as an intersection of nearly all the ideas that preoccupy me as of late. and it's inherant to the nature of its subject matter that it has come back to me now, ten years after i first saw it, in a way that is wholy consumable. i think this gets to the idea of layers. and that perhaps life is in fact a series of holy moments that have to be received and understood as layers. eventually the layers may stack up to create a fully formed image. wake up already.
stills from waking life, 2001 directed by richard linklater
not THE diagon alley, and not the center of wizarding, but a diagon alley of sorts, and certainly the center of street food cravings in phuket, thailand. during the day, this alley would remain open but it had a sleepy quality- mostly functioning as a shady respite for anyone walking by and seeking a cold coconut. but at night, the alley came alive with lights, people, and scooters pushing through. the center area of each stall seemed to offer a secondary function as a tv lounge for the owners, which seemed quite useful. the flickering light from the tvs as one walked by, along with an olfactory tunnel of grilling foods, all add to the mysterious quality at night.