diet coke for breakfast

Friday, May 16, 2003

Posted by Jake
NPR : The Spiritual Message of 'The Matrix'

I was leaving the Matrix:Reloaded after my second viewing last night. I liked it as much this time as I did the first time, but this time gave me a better opportunity to examine it a little bit more closely. However while I was thinking about this someone who was riding with me said a very disturbing thing:

"It was OK," she said. "I don't understand what all the fuss was about."

The response I was tempted to give was something to the effect of: "Are you dead? Are you on methadone?! What happened to you as a child that you've become so calloused and cynical that something groudbreakingly cool is just 'OK'!"

I didn't say that, instead opting for the more diplomatic: "What did you think of the first one?".

"I didn't see the first one."

"Why not?"

"It didn't seem that interesting."

"That is perhaps the saddest thing I have ever heard."

Here the conversation ended and the other people in the car and I began to discuss in detail the themes dealt with in the Matrix in spite of the ridicule of this passenger.

What she said is really truly sad. There are people in this country who left that movie completely unmoved or even amused by it. While this clearly had flaws (see the freaky rave scene and the chocolate cake orgasm), I think that failure to at least find some joy in it indicative of either a complete lack of creative understanding or an extreme depth of cynicism.

Likewise, a lot of people left this movie confused. Yet most of them, rather than attempting to puzzle through what they had seen, simply dismissed it as pop-philosophy absolutely lacking in content. This fact is the most sad thing of all, because in spite of its flaws this movie in doing what remarkably few movies even attempt. It creates a theology all its own...and half the audience didn't even notice.


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