8. Waking Life (2001)
Richard Linklater's philosophical indie heavyweight Waking Life deals with large ideas of dreams, life, death, reality, personhood and creativity across a slender hour and a half runtime. While this is no surprise from the man who brought us A Scanner Darkly, it is always interesting to remember he also made School of Rock.
Essentially a series of existential monologues, stitched together by the loose narrative of a lucid dreamer, who may or may not be dead, the film careens off on perpetual tangents, making few excuses for its segues into new territories. In fact, digressions seem to be the film's only true constant, quite befitting the nature of dreams.
A lot of ground is covered and, as most of the film takes place like a conversation, any waning concentration will result in a substantial loss of place. And that's not to mention the psychedelic visuals - the film was 100% rotoscoped, with a team of artists drawing bright, stylised forms over the top of the original picture (so, although it is animated, the entire film was shot with actors in live action performances), which gives proceedings a disorienting, wavy and lost-at-sea feel.
More than all else, the thesis of the film needs to be mined out on repeat examinations. The first watch may give the substance and ideas, but what does the picture have to say about the connections between these things?