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<nettime> The Matrix Reloaded
Ana Viseu on Sat, 17 May 2003 09:37:35 +0200 (CEST)


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<nettime> The Matrix Reloaded


Having just gone to see the movie made cult, 'the matrix reloaded', on the 
day of its opening (here in Canada) I feel I should write something about 
it. Not because I loved it, but because I was very impressed by the 
story-telling devices and aesthetics the directors-- Larry and Andy 
Wachowski--chose to use.

The story itself is, like any good sequel, crappy. (I apologize in advance 
to StarWar fans). It is also much more faithful to the sci-fi genre than 
the previous one. We see plenty of spaceships, monsters endangering the 
human species, and self-replicating aliens. While the first 'The Matrix' 
seemed more like a pun (or reflection) on a large conspiracy theory and the 
'nature' of reality, this one is overtly about a far away galaxy in a very 
distant future.

Surprisingly, and rather annoyingly, although perhaps in some ways very 
appropriate to our times, it seems like the future is full of religious 
undertones. There is the Oracle, the Prophesy, a counsel that looks serene 
and has faith, a lot of talk about purpose, meaning and destiny, and Neo, 
himself, wears a long, black friar frock.

The movie is riddled with talk of 'control' and 'choice' two hot topics in 
technoscientific discourse. It is interesting to see these de-constructed 
in the movie, can there be choice if the options are not infinite? Is there 
choice when biology compels us to react to some situations in a very 
particular way?

But, what is most amazing about 'The Matrix Reloaded' is its rhythm, the 
non-stop *speed* employed throughout the movie. The new matrix is a film 
that feels like a videogame. It has the aesthetics of a game, but more than 
that, it tells the story as if it were just that, a videogame. It does not 
try to imitate reality but to create a different reality where even the 
most ludicrous plot twists are... appropriate. It is multi-folded and 
dynamic, often incomprehensible, but nonetheless compelling. It makes the 
spectator feel part of the game itself, as if it was you who was kicking 
and punching, or driving the high-speed car.

'The Matrix Reloaded' is one of the best examples I've seen of the 
application of a 'new medium' narrative style to a 'traditional' medium. In 
that sense it is the perfect counter-example to Marshall McLuhan's 'the 
content of a new medium is an old medium'.

best. ana


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