“The Matrix alerts us to the fact that we can immerse ourselves in this virtual universe.”

Whether in cinema or in real life, references to The Matrix are endless. Many researchers have looked at the films.

Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss in the latest Matrix movie, released December 22. © AFP / Murray Close / Warner Bros

The Matrix story has teased icons and marked a generation, with its main character Neo, played by Keanu Reeves, who navigates between the Matrix and the real world. A fourth movie will be released in theaters this Wednesday. The Triathlon, which began in 1999, is a great stadium for Researchers who analyze, discuss and think about work From the Wachowski sisters. This is the case of Natasha Vas Deres and Danielle Tron. The first is a researcher at the University of Bordeaux Montaigne, president of the Hypermondes Festival and a specialist in science fiction. The second is a teacher-researcher in science fiction and cinema literature at the University of Tours.

France Inter: Why were you interested in these Matrix films?

Natasha VAS-DEYRES: “Anyone who loves science fiction is looking for fairly original movies. In 1999, The Matrix emerged as a true cinematic UFO. Firstly because of a new aesthetic about machines, which are not at all like robots. They are flexible, anthropomorphic machines rather than anthropomorphic, but rather regressed.” In alien mode.

What completely amazed me was the so-called syncretism. This means a mixture of post-apocalyptic with references to martial arts, to Hong Kong-Kung Fu films, to Asian cinema. The hero wears a latex coat with sunglasses. There are references to cyberpunk, but also to manga. It’s a step in the evolution of a science fiction movie. The Matrix was a shock, a cinematic earthquake.”

Daniel Tron: “There is a play about philosophy and metafiction. From the beginning of the first film, which is well thought out in terms of storytelling, we are gradually pushed to follow Neo and discover the other side of reality with reference to Jean Baudrillard, a great postmodern theorist, and his book, “Simulacra and Simulation” He appears in the opening scene of the first movie. What Baudrillard develops is the idea of ​​losing reality through the concept of imitation. For the author, in the modern world, in a very mediocre world, no one who goes to New York can look at New York in a direct way, without having, at the very moment in which he lives, to compare it with all theirs. The images of New York he had already built in his head through the movies.”

Has The Matrix laid a new foundation for science fiction in cinema?

Natasha VAS-DEYRES:“In cinematic science fiction, there are films that are models for who will follow them. In 1927 there was ‘Metropolis’, then ‘2001, Space Flight.’ In 1968, there was a real aesthetic revolution and the way of thinking in science fiction. There will be The Matrix in 1999, which allows us to rethink the relationship with special effects machines.”

Daniel Tron: “Yes and no. The era of film is marked by a new use of digital technology. With ‘bullet time’, that visual effect that allows you to have a slow motion picture. I don’t think the Matrix movie has revamped the aesthetics of sci-fi cinema. It takes place more in the continuity of form It’s a form of cinema. It’s an extra step. But a good SF movie is relatively rare.”

Can we build bridges between The Matrix and metaverses, this virtual universe project that Facebook has envisioned?

Daniel Tron: “Yes, because we’re talking about the vacuum. When writer William Gibson invented the matrix in 1984, he knew absolutely nothing about computers. There is often a kind of confusion, ‘mistake’ in the interpretation: This thinks science fiction has a vocation to predict the future. …while in general, no. With a few very rare exceptions. It plays with science fiction, it builds a critique or perception of reality using a magnifying mirror, projecting it into time and space or thinking about what contemporary trends might lead to.”

Natasha VAS-DEYRES: “The Matrix is ​​going to take elements of cyberpunk. We have these virtual universes found in cyberpunk, in particular, in the very main work of William Gibson, Neuromancien, who will invent the concept of cyberspace. Except that there, in the Matrix, we have two visions, two phases, those of reality and the virtual universe, but which are obviously similar to the realm of reality.

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It is a reflection on the representation of what realism can be. It doesn’t quite look like the real thing yet and there is no potential confusion between the two.”

However, can virtual reality be confusing to some?

Natasha VAS-DEYRES: “Yes, philosophically, the Matrix shows us that there can be a confusion between the virtual universe, metaverse and reality, and that people probably don’t want to go back to reality at all. As long as we feel good in the metaverse, and it looks like a real mistake, the Matrix alerts us to The fact that we can immerse ourselves in this virtual universe without wanting to return to reality. Finally, we completely abandon our bodies in favor of our minds because we no longer need our bodies in the metaverse.”

Daniel Tron: “There is one fairly simple thing about GAFA that you have to understand, and that is that they are huge fans of sci-fi. If Google is called Android, it is because the founders of Google are Philip K. Dick readers. But what is Zuckerberg doing in a commercial. There is something, For now, it’s an empty shell.”

Frank Mccarthy

<p class="sign">"Certified gamer. Problem solver. Internet enthusiast. Twitter scholar. Infuriatingly humble alcohol geek. Tv guru."</p>

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