An experimental feature shot in live action (by Richard Linklater) and then painted over via computer (by, or under, Bob Sabiston): neither fish nor fowl, though certainly fishy and possibly foul. The undulating, sloshing animation on top of the already unsteady camerawork is very hard on the eyes. And any added visual interest from this cinematic hybrid, or mutant, is actually a distraction from the droning verbalizations on fate, free will, existentialism, evolution, reincarnation, linguistics, the "ontology" of film, etc., spiced with literary allusions to Lorca, Lawrence, Stevenson, Mann, Kierkegaard, etc. -- something like a semester's worth of highlights from a Philosophy major's bull sessions. The desultory narrative apparently depicts -- we cannot be completely sure -- the adventures in the afterlife of a laid-back slacker (Wiley Wiggins, from Dazed and Confused) who gets run over by a car. More precisely it depicts a vision of the afterlife as an endless and uninterrupted sequence of dreams. A more precise title for the film, therefore: Unwaking Death. (2001) — Duncan Shepherd
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