9. Waking Life (Richard Linklater)
Thank goodness Richard Linklater was born after sound film was created, because his films are talkies in every sense of the word. His characters love to hear the sound of their own voice almost as much as Orson Welles, and fortunately they have a lot of worthwhile things to say. Linklater's films include the philosophical waxings of Austin's educated underclass in Slacker, the classic last day of school comedy Dazed and Confused, the Before... series starring Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke (with Before Midnight being perhaps the best film of 2013), and the awesome School of Rock. Waking Life is similar to Slacker in a lot of ways: some of the actors are the same, there is only a skeleton of a plot, and the dialogue is largely monologue driven with a philosophical (yet not boring or academic) tinge. The major difference between the two films is pretty obvious: Waking Life, unlike Slacker, is rotoscoped. Rotoscoping is the process of drawing over the frames of the film (traditionally done by hand, but done by computers for Waking Life) to create the effect of an animated film. So the movie is shot traditionally, and then drawn over to create a somewhat disconcerting yet beautiful animated effect (seen here
). Waking Life tackles the "big issues" including life after death, what it means to dream, and constructed reality. But this isn't some undergraduates philosophy midterm, it is an experience that you are unlikely to find in many other films and it has to be seen to be believed.