|Directed by||The Wachowskis|
|Produced by||Joel Silver|
|Written by||The Wachowski Brothers|
|Starring|| Keanu Reeves|
Carrie Anne Moss
|Music by||Don Davis|
|Editing by||Zach Staenberg|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros.|
|Release date(s)||March 31, 1999|
|Running time||136 minutes|
|Country|| United States|
|Followed by||The Matrix: Reloaded|
The Matrix is a film released in 1999, produced by Joel Silver, and distributed by Warner Bros. It stars Keanu Reeves, Carrie Anne Moss, and Laurence Fishburne. The concept of the movie presumes that life as we know it is merely a virtual reality simulation, run by a race of sentient machines cultivating humans for electricity. In the film, Neo (Reeves) discovers this and is rescued from the virtual reality world and brought into the real world, a dystopian future where the survivors of Mankind fight against the machines. Through his training, Neo learns that, because the Matrix is a virtual reality world, that the "rules" of the world can be bent, allowing for superhuman strength and speed. He ultimately learns that he is "The One", a Christ-like figure who has the ability to manipulate the Matrix beyond the capabilities of even the machines that control it, and is destined to lead all of humanity out of the Matrix.
The Matrix spawned three movie sequels: The Matrix Reloaded, The Matrix Revolutions, and The Matrix Resurrections, three video games, and an anime.
Similar to George Lucas's references to the Force in the Star Wars trilogy, there were several New Age references throughout the films, being primarily a hodge-podge of different religions. The Wachowski brothers, however, indicated that the primary belief system of the film was "know yourself" when asked about it.
Leo K. O'Drudy III also described the fims as Marxist propaganda.
In addition, some Christian groups, including Christian Broadcast Network, also criticized The Matrix Reloaded for the Architect scene, citing that it depicted him as being "God-like" yet malevolent and not inherently good, as well as the hints from the exchange of Eastern mysticism, in particularly the implication that Zion may be an illusion, and even that all of reality is an illusion.
There were several hints at Marxism, nihilism, and anarchism throughout the films. The Wachowskis also implied that the works of Friedrich Nietzsche played a role in the creation of the franchise alongside Cornel West's Prophecy Deliverance and Jean Baudrillard's Simulacra and Simulation. In addition, the films were rather infamous for causing people to commit murder in inspiration of the messages in the movie, which eventually caused the judicial system to create a new court defense called "The Matrix defense", a variation of the Insanity defense plea.
The Matrix Precursor: Prescient Quotes on Police State Computer Surveillance
- "The progress of science in furnishing the government with means of espionage is not likely to stop with wiretapping. Ways may some day be developed by which the government, without removing papers from secret drawers, can reproduce them in court, and by which it will be enabled to expose to a jury the most intimate occurrences of the home. Advances in the psychic and related sciences may bring means of exploring unexpressed beliefs, thoughts and emotions. 'That places the liberty of every man in the hands of every petty officer' was said by James Otis of much lesser intrusions than these. 1 To Lord Camden a far slighter intrusion seemed 'subversive of all the comforts of society.' Can it be that the Constitution affords no protection against such invasions of individual security?"
- Louis Brandeis (1856-1941), United States Supreme Court Associate Justice Dissenting, Olmstead v. United States, 277 U.S. 438 (1928).
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