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<nettime> Matrix "Unloaded", Baudrillard & the Power of Images & Movies.
Lorenzo Taiuti on Sat, 28 Jun 2003 23:29:08 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Matrix "Unloaded", Baudrillard & the Power of Images & Movies.

Dear Net-Timers

In spite of the many interesting mails on the "Matrix Reloaded" event, i
feel unsatisfactory the way the issue is analized. In spite of the
everlasting aura of Baudrillard ideas, "Matrix" does not fit with his
ideas of fake surface/Plato-cave-like kingdom of simulacra.

I see the problem is split in two: 

1 - The first Matrix was one of the best "industrial" movies produced in
the last years. It was so because treated in an original way the problem
of borderlines of technical intervention on reality that is the core
problem of all the interesting Science Fiction literature (and
"philosophy") and of contemporary "Cyber culture". It did it brilliantly
because it used ( as "Blade Runner did ) both Sci-Fi language and forties
"Noir" atmosphere. So exposing both the foreseeing of SF and the
melanconic cynicism of "noir" movies ( Bogart's "The big sleep").

2 - But the first quality of the movie was not in his ideas. And the non
quality of "Matrix reloaded" is not in his more questionable ideas. The
quality of the first and the failure of the second relies on the great
difference in the quality of Image and movie form. All the elements of the
first movie were right by classic cinema-language structure: the
surprising quality of the young crew of actors, the surprising screen
charisma of figures like Morpheos and Trinity. Jean Luc Godard said that
movie language "is the art of making beautiful gestures".

I cannot recall a more beautiful movie gesture than that of Trinity in the
phone booth opening her hand and stopping (so to say) death. And no
landscape was more attractive than the photography of
greeinish-lonely/atmosphere of the first movie's description of town, sky
scrapers, offices, back alleys, dark nights. It is difficult to understand
how all those rare qualities have disappeared in the simple and amusing
show that "Matrix Reloaded" is offering us.

But it is not a question of contents. It's a question of visual language
and Power of Images. Power of Images that the cyber-culture is still far
from accepting. And that unluckily the Machowskj brothers seem to have

Lorenzo Taiuti

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