Waking Life is an American live-action rotoscoped film, directed by Richard Linklater. The entire film was shot using digital video and then a team of artists using computers drew stylized lines and colors over each frame. The film focuses on the nature of dreams and consciousness. The title, Waking Life, is a reference to the philosopher George Santayana’s maxim: Sanity is a madness put to good uses; waking life is a dream controlled.
Waking Life is about an unnamed young man in a persistent lucid dream-like state. He initially observes and later participates in philosophical discussions of issues such as reality, free will, the relationship of the subject with others, and the meaning of life.
Along the way the film touches on other topics including existentialism, situationist politics, posthumanity, the film theory of André Bazin, and lucid dreaming itself.