The Matrix • Released in 1999 • First movie in a three part series • The MatrixTrilogy: The Matrix, The MatrixReloaded, The MatrixRevolutions • Directors: Andy Wachowski and Larry/Lana Wachowski • Film directors, writers (comic books, scripts, and games), and producers • Influences: comic books, Tolkien trilogy, science fiction • Wrote for Marvel comics and did house construction work • Reclusive (have a deal w/Warner Bros. That theydon’t have to talk to press) • Dropped out of collegeaftertwoyears • Wrote script Assassins, whichflopped • Bound: Warner gave them the green light and small budget. Criticslovedit.
Summary • Thomas Anderson (Keanu Reeves) is a computer hacker wholearns about the true nature of reality: itiscontrolled by sentient computers that are usinghumans’ bodies for electricity. These computers have created a false reality in order to pacify the humans, sothey are passive while the machines stealtheirlives. With help from a group of rebelswho have awakenedfrom the « dream reality » theytry to free the otherhumans.
Themes • Man vs. Technology • Frankenstein Theme: Humanscreate the machines to serve them, but the machines end up in control • Reality as simulation: Wheredoes the real leave off and the simulation begin? « The desert of the real.» • Religiousthemes: Christianity--three (trinity) as important; the Oracle; Neo as The One; Zion as a sort of promised land; Buddhism—the spoon; the self as controller of the world; Gnosticism • Fate vs. Free will: Neo has the choice to learn about what’s real and what’s artificially constructed. Neochooses to learn the truth, but the true reality islesspleasantthan the artificial and Cypheryearns to go back. The Oracle. • The relationshipbetween the body, brain, and mind
Motifs and Symbols • Sunglasses/mirrorshades • The color green that often suffuses the movie • Plato’s Allegory of the Cave • Descartes’ “I think, therefore I am” and evil deceiver • The number 3
Movie Reception / Awards • Academy Awards 2000: • Best Editing • Best Effects–Sound Effects Editing • Best Effects–Visual Effects • Best Sound • Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Films, 2000: • Best Science Fiction Film • Best Directors • American Cinema Editors, 2000: • Best Edited Feature Film–Dramatic • And many more… • Books about The Matrix
Well-Known Quotations / Scenes • Morpheus: “You take the blue pill, the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.” • Young Monk: “Do not try and bend the spoon—that’s impossible. Instead, only try to realize the truth.” Neo: “What truth?” Young Monk: “There is no spoon.” • Oracle: I'd ask you to sit down, but, you're not going to anyway. And don't worry about the vase. Neo: What vase? [Neo turns to look for a vase, and as he does, he knocks over a vase of flowers, which shatters on the floor] Oracle: That vase. Neo: I'm sorry... Oracle: I said don't worry about it. I'll get one of my kids to fix it. Neo: How did you know? Oracle: Ohh, what's really going to bake your noodle later on is, would you still have broken it if I hadn't said anything?
Connections to Our Class • “Robbie” • “There Will Come Soft Rains” • “Will Robots Inherit the Earth?” • “Cyberpunk” • “Burning Chrome” • “Ender’s Game” • “We Can Remember it For Your Wholesale” • “The Precession of Simulacra”
Works Cited “The Matrix.” IMDB. Amazon, n.d. Web. 8 April 2011. “The Matrix Trilogy: Facts.” SparkNotes. Sparknotes, LLC, 2011. Web. 8 April 2011. “The Matrix Trilogy: Themes, Motifs, and Symbols.” SparkNotes. Sparknotes, LLC, 2011. Web. 8 April 2011. Miller, Mark. “ Matrix Revelations: The Wachowski Brothers FAQ.” Wired. Conde Nast Digital, November 2003. Web. 8 April 2011.