CP: It's resistant to the whole commercial imperative of movies.
LINKLATER: Film is an expensive medium, so [financiers] want you to do something that you've done successfully before. But if you're restless, like me, and you're trying to explore some other aspect of yourself, it can be tough--to get the money. I mean, all my films are personal to me. But how personal? I went to high school, like every other human, and I made a film [Dazed and Confused] about that. And yeah, it's personal: It actually happened to me. But is it personal to my core? Does it get at what's going on in my brain? This one [Waking Life], I can honestly say, came from the absolute deepest place [laughs]. And I know that sounds pretentious, or corny, but it's really true.
Riffing really intensely on whatever: writer-director-actor Richard Linklater in Waking Life
LINKLATER: Kind of, yeah, because you feel weird even talking about it--like, you put so much of yourself into it, that to try to make it comprehensible is...[pauses]. I mean, that's the human dilemma: We have to articulate, to try to define things. But it's weird because the movie was made without concessions to commerce, and now it's out there in the commodity world, asking people to pay admission. And yet the thing I love about film is that every film has its own life: There ours will be, one film among four or five at a theater, out in the real world--and there's something kind of great about that.
CP: It sounds a little like having a child.
LINKLATER: It's not quite like having a child. I think when you have a child, you're trying to protect him, to put him forth into the world with all your best. But with this [film], I'm not really trying to protect it: It's just kind of out there on its own, out in the cold.