The Matrix Series
The Matrix Series consists of the film trilogy and animated shorts: The Matrix (1999), The Animatrix (2003), The Matrix Reloaded (2003), and The Matrix Revolutions (2003), as well as the video games and other literature, all produced, or written and directed by the Wachowski Brothers. The Matrix "universe" is a complex Science Fiction story about the fight of Freedom against Power, complete with many elements of Philosophy used in unprecedented ways. Influences abound, from the Mythology of Ancient Greece, to Cyberpunk, Computers, Animation, Philosophy of Mind, Ethics, Teleology, Hinduism, Gnosticism, and Buddhism, among others.
In fact, the overall story makes numerous references and allusions to historical and literary myths and philosophies, including Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Jean Baudrillard's Simulacra and Simulation, Daniel Dennett's "Brain in a Vat" theory, Judeo-Christian imagery about Messianism, Buddhism, Gnosticism and many other connections in Ethics and Teleology. William Gibson's Neuromancer had popularized the concept of a world-wide computer Network with a Virtual Reality interface, also named "the matrix" in his Sprawl Trilogy. The concept and name originated even earlier, in the 1976 Doctor Who episode, The Deadly Assassin, on the BBC. Virtual Reality was first populated, using unsuspecting victims, by Daniel Galouye, in Simulacron Three in 1964. Philip K. Dick also dealt with issues of prophetic visions and a war against the machines, an idea which extends from a 1909 Short Story, The Machine Stops, by E.M. Forster, to The Terminator series of films and television. The difference between these forerunners and The Matrix Trilogy is in the multi-layered, multi-cultural, and multi-media references and constructs, and the consistent and philosophical approach to the themes from the Wachowski Brothers.
Despite divided fan reactions to the continuations of the original 1999 film, some felt the majority of audiences simply didn't like the ambiguity in the resolutions of the various plot elements. Some criticised the sequels because they did not seem to conclude previous questions raised, either in the first or second films, but heated discussions online helped develop speculative theories about characters such as the Merovingian and Seraph, and also showed how the series simply could not have merely repeated the introductory philosophical problems of the first film, because Philosophy involves so much more. That Neo would be revealed to be a program within a larger matrix was an expected major twist in Revolutions which was only hinted, but never laid out clearly. That nothing, even in the "real world" of the story, is actually real, is another overarching conclusion only found in hints and visual clues. Carrie-Anne Moss once said the Wachowski Brothers would not want to force a particular perspective on all fans and viewers. Some see these as assets of the story.
- Official Site
- The Many Meanings of The Matrix, Larry Wachowski
- Explanation of the Story
- Essays on Reloaded and Revolutions
- weblink a script merging the "Final Flight of the Osiris" from the Animatrix, "Enter the Matrix" and "Matrix Reloaded"
Some content adapted from the Wikinfo article "The Matrix series" under the GNU Free Documentation License.
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