Starring Keanu Reeves as Neo, a computer programmer transformed into a messianic freedom fighter, The Matrix blends science fiction with conspiracy thriller conventions and outlandish martial arts created with groundbreaking digital techniques. A box-office triumph, the film was no populist confection: its blatant allusions to highbrow contemporary philosophy added to its appeal as a mystery to be decoded.
Joshua Clover undertakes the task of decoding the film. Examining The Matrix's digital effects and how they were achieved, he shows how the film represents a melding of cinema and video games the greatest commercial threat to have faced Hollywood since the advent of television and achieves a hybrid kind of immersive entertainment. He also unpacks the movie's references to philosophy, showing how The Matrix ultimately expresses the crisis American culture faced at the end of the s.
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I want to…. Browse our education events. Use film and TV in my classroom. Read research data and market intelligence. Red Rock West Alas, the film severely disappointed at the box office, with pundits suggesting that Warner Bros may have wildly over-estimated the appetite for a sequel to a year-old cult film, which was itself a flop back in the day. And so, Blade Runner joins a long list of critically lauded underperformers that fall under the neo-noir or tech-noir umbrella.
You may have seen the big hitters, like Manhunter , Basic Instinct and Bound , already. But for a film that stands toe-to-toe with Chinatown as a thrilling expression of post-Watergate American nihilism, it remains criminally underseen.
The Matrix by Joshua Clover (Paperback, 2004)
Gene Hackman takes centre stage as Harry Moseby, a perpetually out-of-his-depth private investigator hired by a louche, washed-up actress Janet Ward to locate and return her wayward teenage daughter Melanie Griffith. But Night Moves works just as well as a straightforward mystery, with Penn scratching at the seemingly idyllic surface of affluent LA and coastal Florida to reveal the corruption and moral degradation beneath.
And its nerve-shredding, North by Northwest-referencing climax is one hell of a sign-off. At its core is the chalk-and-cheese coupling of ageing, world-weary PI Ira Wells Art Carney and Margo Sperling Lily Tomlin , a highly-strung once-aspiring actress now eking out a living as a talent agent and part-time pot dealer.
Leading us on this dark odyssey is George C.
Scott as Jake VanDorn, a conservative Christian who infiltrates the porn industry in an attempt to find his missing teenage daughter. Its best-known scene, in which VanDorn howls in anguish as he watches his daughter degrading herself on screen, has been partially robbed of its shock value thanks to a viral video in which the scene is spliced with the trailer for abysmal Adam Sandler vehicle Jack and Jill But with its proper context restored, it retains an unsettling rawness.
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