Communicator (communicator) wrote,

No, it just feels like it

I think the most common topic of conversation I've been involved in over the last two weeks is - The Matrix Reloaded: crap or not? I've been very much on the 'crap' side of the debate.

However here is a very good article by Adam Roberts on Matrix R. Now Roberts is a highly intelligent individual, author of several excellent books including Salt, which I think is an unusually good bit of political SF. I always read his online columns.

This is an open minded review. What he argues is that the form exemplifies the content. Here is a flavour:

when compared with the climax of the first movie, this adventure, its vicissitudes ... appear on the screen in an almost desultory fashion. The whole action sequence is then interrupted by a lengthy, slow-paced dialogue between Neo and the Architect in which concepts and language of rebarbative difficulty are exchanged, draining away narrative momentum further. But this, I think, is a deliberate device: by shifting the climax of this movie back towards the narrative midpoint the Wachowski brothers articulate in cinematic terms the experience of existing post-climactically.

In other words

So frequently repeated is this trope of expectation-excitement-disillusionment that is dominates the form and mood of the whole picture. In other words disillusionment is precisely what The Matrix dramatises: ... Indeed, the Wachowski's boldest aesthetic experiment is to try and represent disillusionment, anti-climax, in the idiom of the climax-addicted form of Hollywood action-blockbuster.

I don't buy it, but it is a generous and creative way to read the film. Towards the end of his review Roberts mentions (for obvious reasons) Nietzsche's concept of eternal recurrence. Just as Nietzsche enjoined us to embrace the mind-numbing tedium of enternal recurrence, and by consenting to it become empowered, so Roberts urges us to embrace the disappointment of this film, and reclaim it as an artistic experience in its own right.

This is exactly how I watch Tarkovsky movies, so perhaps he's on to something.

And - god I am going on aren't I? - If we get something out of a film, does it matter whether it was put in there on purpose?

  • Phew what a scorcher

    I see Gove has backed down on climate change and it's back in the curriculum again.

  • GCSE Computer Science

    My book is now for sale

  • LJ Settings

    At the moment I have set up this journal so that only friends can comment. I hate doing this, but I was just getting too much Russian spam.

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