What if an alien in the future stumbled upon The Matrix? Welcome to Earthling Cinema, where we examine the last remaining artifacts of a once-proud culture and try to understand what human lives were like before their planet was destroyed. I’m your host, Garyx Wormuloid.
The Matrix (1999)
Stars: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss
Directed by: Andy Wachowski (as The Wachowski Brothers) , Lana Wachowski (as The Wachowski Brothers)
Available on Amazon, iTunes, Google Play
Written by: Ben Steiner
Analysis & Directed by: Jared Bauer
Starring: Mark Schroeder (https://twitter.com/mark_schroeder)
Edited by: Ryan Hailey
Original Music by: David Krystal (http://www.davidkrystalmusic.com)
Opening Animation by: Danny Rapaport
Producer & Additional Artwork by: Jacob S. Salamon
Additional Notes by: Tommy Cook
The Hidden Meaning in The Matrix – Earthling Cinema
Greetings, and welcome to Earthling
Cinema. I am your host, Garyx Wormuloid. This week’s artifact is The Matrix, starring MTV Movie Award-winning cyborg Keanu Reeves, most famous for inventing the candy Reeves’s Peeveses.
The film tells the story of Earthling Thomas Anderson, hacker alias “Neo,” who is just minding his own business when all of a sudden everyone starts bothering him and telling him what to do. After hearing persuasive arguments from both sides, Neo opts for the guys with cooler sunglasses, and blindly swallows a pill given to him by a man he’s known for about two minutes.
Turns out it’s actually the future and Neo’s entire reality is just a simulation. Who knew?. The real world is located in a grimy sewer where they all wears rags and are constantly under attack by robot jellyfish, yet somehow everyone has time to shave their faces and heads every day. They even shave Neo’s face while he’s sleeping.
Morpheus teaches Neo how to do some Looney Tunes shit and then they celebrate with some homemade cookies. Morpheus gets roughed up by a guy in a bathroom, so Neo and Trinity take matters into their own guns. While fighting, Neo invents a new move: falling down really slowly. He dies, and Trinity consoles herself by becoming a necrophiliac.
Alright, let’s start with the
Neo means “new” in Greek, and is an anagram for “One,” which is, in my experience, the loneliest number. Morpheus is named for the God of Dreams in Ovid’s bestseller the Metamorphoses. Trinity refers to the Christian Bible’s “Holy Trinity”: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Grail. Just as the Holy Trinity purportedly brought Jesus back to life, so too does bad bitch Trinity bring Neo back to life with a big wet smackeroonie. Also, Trinity begins the movie in room 303, which has threes in it.
But don’t worry, the Christian imagery doesn’t end there. If you look very carefully, you might notice that Neo is a sort of Christ figure.
Neo’s other name, “Thomas Anderson”, harkens back to the Apostle Thomas, aka doubting Thomas, who expressed reservations about the whole Christ savior thing. Etymologically, Anderson means “son of man,” a nickname Jesus used sometimes around his mortal friends. Cypher is Neo’s Judas, betraying him for a sirloin and a smile.
As evidenced by the obvious references to Alice in Wondertown and The Wizards of Waverly Place, The Matrix loves it some literary allusions.
Neo’s room number is 101, much like Room 101, the torture chamber from George Orwell’s 1984, where prisoners are brainwashed by reliving their worst nightmare. Neo hides his illegal programs in a copy of Simulacra and Simulation by Jean “Babyface” Baudrillard, a postmodern book about the decay of reality and its replacement with simulated images– the idea of a copy without an original, a Pepsi without a Pibb Xtra. When Morpheus welcomes Neo to the “Desert of the Real”, he is quoting that very same text.
With so much focus on images and reality, and due to the vainglorious ethos of Earth, it’s no surprise that the film makes frequent use of mirrors. Even Morpheus’ weird sunglasses that should definitely fall off his face are mirrored.
As this motif seem to indicate, The Matrix is about reflection and perspective, truth and illusion. It’s about knowing yourself as opposed to trusting any of your eleven senses. The Oracle tells Neo to “know thyself”, acting as a mirror for Neo’s self reflection.
The film also draws inspiration from philosophy, a rarely practiced form of Earthling masturbation. In his “Allegory of the Cave,” Plato argues that a prisoner who lives his whole life watching shadows in a cave would regard the shadows as real, since only an idiot would get himself trapped in a cave.
If that prisoner were to see the
sun, he would be overwhelmed. Likewise, Neo’s eyes hurt because he’s never used them before, and he barfs when he learns the truth about his world. But if barfing is the price we must pay for enlightenment, I say “Where’s the toilet?”
For Earthling Cinema, I’m Garyx Wormuloid.