The Reader on Ma(t)r(i)x

Annalee Newitz tabloid at
Tue Apr 20 10:48:22 PDT 1999

Doug Henwood wrote:

> Peter Kilander wrote:
> >Here's the Chicago Reader, the free weekly here, on the movie The Matrix:
> >
> Gotta see this damn thing. How does the movie riff on Marx, as the review
> claims?

There's a long speech where Morpheus describes how the ruling machines feed humans fantasies (i.e., ideology) in order to turn them into batteries (and then we get the Duracell product placement as he holds up a Duracell).

But this is *not* a Marxist film . . . if anything, it's Foucauldian or post-structuralist. At the end, it turns out that the world will be fixed not through a change in material conditions, but merely by learning how to manipulate the Matrix, to change the shape of our false reality. So you can't really escape discourse--you can only emulate it in a slightly different register. I hated the ending, where Keanu becomes a Jesus figure, ressurrected from the dead and flying away . . . bleah. Talk about re-mystification.

But the special effects were great. And I did like the moments when everybody started talking about ideology (which, by the way, is dispelled with a red pill).


-- annalee newitz - tabloid at - 415.668.0365

freelance writer and lecturer technology - pop culture - sexuality - academia

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