Matrix 4: A Singular Work of Genius

From Hugh Howey:

The Matrix: Resurrections was one of the worst films I saw in 2021. I wanted to walk out several times, and probably would have had my partner asked to go. It was difficult to sit through. The best thing I could say about it after was that it made me hate parts 2 and 3 a lot less by comparison.

A day later, I’m now convinced that The Matrix: Resurrections is one of the finest works of art that I’ve ever experienced in my life.

How I got from there to here is complicated. But let me try to explain.

In 1999, The Matrix hit cinemas and changed film forever. No fight sequence has been filmed the same way since. It was the ultimate kung-fu film for the modern age. I saw it in the theaters several times and felt empowered by the visuals, the action sequences, even the message. The message was to wake up. Don’t be subservient. Don’t fall into a routine. Life should be more than what the world is currently offering.

This was the message we saw, but it wasn’t the message Lana and Lilly intended. It’s easy to pretend that the transgender Wachowskis underwent their transformation after the success of The Matrix. It’s certainly more comforting to many of the film’s fans to assume the film was made by masculine men for their masculine tastes. This was true for me.

When I first heard Lana was transitioning, I felt discomforted. It was nearly twenty years ago, and trans issues and trans rights weren’t on my radar. I knew these things existed, but I hadn’t wrestled with the subject. Suddenly (to me), one of my cultural heroes was not what I thought they were. Not what I wanted them to be. I was the Matrix. I just couldn’t see that yet.

Link to the rest at Hugh Howey

6 thoughts on “Matrix 4: A Singular Work of Genius”

  1. There is also this:

    (Spoilers all over there.)

    I haven’t watched it yet so I don’t know how it’ll hit me. (I’m doing WHEEL OF TIME on PRIME right now. WITCHER season 2 probably next.) Waiting to be in the right mood for a movie about being trapped in a world gone wrong. Which is not now with Omicron out there.

    RESURRECTIONS almost certainly isn’t what WB had in mind but it isn’t a bad movie. Or a good one. It…varies…
    Some people it leaves cold, some it touches deeply.
    It is complicated. Which is a good thing in the age of empty light show “blockbusters”.
    (Here’s looking at you, MARVEL. The widow deserved better.)

    Maybe there’s hope for traditional cinema in the age of streaming.
    Through I wonder what a Director’s cut on HBOMAX might be like.

  2. I’ve been watching Matrix 4 since it came out on HBOMAX[1]. We don’t have any theaters open here in Santa Fe, because of the pandemic, so that works for me. I can pause, rewind, and watch it whenever I want.

    Love the film. It is everything that I expected. It is the perfect Coda to the Trilogy. I keep finding details that I missed, but I will be glad to get the movie on disc when it comes out so that I can move frame-by-frame on some of the parts.

    – I’m still looking for the “woman in red” that the credits claim is in the movie.

    Thanks to Felix and C.E. for their links, very useful.

    BTW, I’ve tried to hold back on commenting on the various YouTube videos where they get things so very wrong, it’s hard though. There are so many people who can’t get past whatever limitations that they have.

    The vast insight I’ve gained is seeing that a huge number of people simply can’t watch, or read, a Story without imposing their own limitations on the Story. It’s as if they are filtering, translating, what they are seeing, and not what is clearly there.

    – That has never become more obvious to me until this shared viewing of the same movie.

    That insight alone is worth my frustration when I say to myself, “Can’t you see what’s right in front of you?”


    [1] Finally made the jump to streaming when I could not wait until the movie was released on disc. I am limited to watching it on my iMac since I only have DSL with the “blinding” speed of 1 mps. Sitting here at my computer watching movies is not optimal, but needs must.

    • “It’s as if they are filtering, translating, what they are seeing, and not what is clearly there. ”

      That is *exactly* what they do.
      And not just for stories or videos, but in real life.
      No further proof needed than tribal politics.

      Heinlein said it best: Humans aren’t a rational species, they are a rationalizing one.
      Emotion trumps reality.

      As for dealing with slow online speeds:

      Most streaming services let you download the videos for offline viewing. Netflix, Prime, HBOMAX, Disney+ definitely do.

      I’ve been doing online rentals and streaming since ~2007 when MS added it to the first XBOX 360s. It’s what got me off dialup into (what passed for) broadband at the time (750Kbps!). At bedtime I would queue up whatever movies I wanted to watch and let them download overnight and while at work. Eventually I switched to cable (4MB) when NETFLIX and Hulu hit the XBOX. (MS tried to buy Hulu in those days but Hastings demurred. 🙂 )

      Each service does it different. Here’s HBOMAX:

      Depending on your gear you can download on phone, tablet, or PC and then play it on your TV via cable or wireless “casting”. The first year of DCUNIVERSE (the precursor to HBOMAX) they had mobile clients and browser support but nothing for consoles or streaming sticks. So I connected my laptop via HDMI to the TV to watch TITANS. Flawed show but lots of fun.

      Speaking of HBOMAX, if you’re a Hitchcock fan you might enjoy THE FLIGHT ATTENDANT.

      • “I don’t know anyone who could get through the day without two or three juicy rationalizations. They’re more important than sex.”
        “Ah, come on. Nothing’s more important than sex.”
        “Oh yeah? Ever gone a week without a rationalization?”

        The Big Chill (1983). This particular exchange is itself an even greater rationalization given the… peccadillos… of the cast (both on- and off-screen) over the years.

    • It’s as if they are filtering, translating, what they are seeing, and not what is clearly there.

      Of course they are. We do that with everything. Walk down any street and there are zillions of factors clearly present, but we filter them down and focus on only a small number. Maybe I don’t focus on what someone else does. OK.

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