Wachowski brothers

3.36831380541 (1963)
Posted by r2d2 05/01/2009 @ 08:13

Tags : wachowski brothers, directors, cinema, entertainment

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'Mission: Impossible IV' Creeps Stealthily Towards Reality… But ... - MTV.com
Wouldn't it be awesome if Abrams somehow convinced the Wachowski Brothers — of “The Matrix” and “Speed Racer” fame — to helm “Mission: Impossible IV”? An idea that's so crazy, it just might work. Yes there's the obvious allure of bringing...
THE BACK ROW: Movies That Deserve Do-Overs - WMBF
The Matrix trilogy could have been better than curly fries, but the Wachowski Siblings (nee the Wachowski Brothers) had to follow up the splendid first film with a pair of bloated, self-indulgent and occasionally bizarre sequels....
Top 10 essential anime - Examiner.com
The Matrix directors the Wachowski brothers are fans of Akira. Watch it and you'll see how it influenced their filmmaking. 2. Spirited Away- It would be difficult to talk about anime without mentioning famed Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki (Howl's...
Matrix Revolutions to be rewritten - The Spoof (satire)
The Wachowski brothers have acknowledged that Matrix Revolutions has completely destroyed the credibility of the first two films. However, they had been unable to invent a way of rescuing the series in such a way that it enabled the hard core Matrices...
On the set: Slow Pacer - Examiner.com
The Wachowski brothers, made famous by the Matrix trilogy, were clearly going for the live-action Japanese animation feel, because the entire film is plagued with awkward sliding character scene transitions, neon Tokyo-esque signs, corny acting by...
'Net reaction, continued: NBA Finals, Game 5 - Yahoo! Sports
Straight Bangin': "Had the Wachowski brothers left 'The Matrix' as a purposely ambiguous snapshot, as a mystery delightfully solicitous of active appreciation among its fans, the movie would be much better than what it is today....
Marcus Nispel Latest Director for Conan - CanMag
Especially considering that directors to the likes of Brett Ratner, Robert Rodriguez, and the Wachowski brothers courted the project only to back away later. While Nispel might not be as big as the names listed, he is no stranger to remakes....
Frameline 33: Out of the Past, Queerly - East Bay Express
The brothers themselves are fairly sanguine about their fame. They obviously live to make their kind of movies (wonder what they'd do with a Wachowski-size budget?) and they keep cranking them out at a furious clip. George Kuchar, a San Francisco...

Wachowski brothers

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Laurence "Larry" Wachowski (born June 21, 1965) and Andrew Paul "Andy" Wachowski (born December 29, 1967), collectively known as The Wachowski Brothers, are American film directors, writers and producers, most famous for creating The Matrix series. Their most recent project was producing, writing and directing a live-action adaptation of Speed Racer.

Andy and Larry Wachowski were born to a Polish-American family in Chicago. The Wachowskis jokingly claim to have begun their collaboration as toddlers. Their mother, Lynne, was a nurse and painter, and their father, Ron, was a businessman. They went to Kellogg Elementary School, in Chicago's Beverly area. Both brothers graduated from Whitney Young High School, a public high school known for its performing arts and science curriculum, in 1983 and '86. They weren't seen as stand outs at Whitney Young - students recall them playing Dungeons & Dragons and working in the school's theater and TV program, but they were always behind the scenes. Afterwards, Andy went to Emerson College in Boston. Larry went to Bard College in upstate New York. After dropping out of college, they ran a carpentry business in Chicago while creating comic books in their free time and developing their ideas for the Matrix Trilogy.

Prior to working in the film industry, the Wachowski brothers wrote comic books for Marvel Comics' Razorline imprint, namely Ectokid (created by horror novelist Clive Barker) in 1993 as well as writing for EPIC Comics "Clive Barker's Hellraiser" and "Clive Barker's Nightbreed" comic series.

During Skroce's run on the Marvel Comics series Gambit, he helped create a pair of bounty hunters, the Mengo Brothers (Stanislaus and Gregori Mengochauschras), as adversaries, who resemble the Wachowskis.

Shortly after the release of Matrix Reloaded, it was rumored that Larry Wachowski began to make small public appearances dressed as a woman, using the name Lana Wachowski. In his column, published May 30, 2003, David Poland said "Every indication I have says that Larry Wachowski is now in the process of changing his sex. Dressing in public like a woman, taking female hormones and yes, having a sex change operation." This was further supported by a March 2006 San Francisco Chronicle article on transgender people, which repeated that Larry Wachowski, "has changed his sex and is now living as Lana Wachowski." The rumor is likely exacerbated by Larry Wachowski's supposed penchant for cross-dressing, as reported by Rolling Stone.

In April 2009, PerezHilton.com published photos allegedly showing Larry Wachowski presenting as female in public .

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Speed Racer (film)

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Speed Racer is a 2008 American live action film adaptation of the 1960s Japanese anime series of the same name .The film is written and directed by The Wachowski Brothers. The film had been in development since 1992, changing writers and directors until producer Joel Silver and the Wachowski brothers collaborated to begin production on Speed Racer as a family film.

Actor Emile Hirsch was cast as Speed, the hero of the animated series, and Christina Ricci portrays Speed's girlfriend, Trixie. Speed Racer was shot between early June and late August 2007 in Potsdam and Berlin, Germany at an estimated budget of $120,000,000. Speed Racer premiered on May 3, 2008 as the closing film at the Tribeca Film Festival, and was released on May 9, 2008. The film has sold $17,968,063 in DVD sales making $114,997,404 in its total film gross.

Speed Racer (Emile Hirsch) is an 18-year-old whose life and love has always been racing. Racing is "in his blood": his parents, Pops (John Goodman) and Mom (Susan Sarandon), run an independent business building race cars; and his older brother, record-setting racer Rex Racer (Scott Porter), was killed during Speed's childhood in the running of the Casa Cristo 5000, an incredibly intense cross-country racing rally notorious for rough and foul play. Before his death, Rex was rejected by his father for his choice to run the Casa Cristo, and publicly defamed for appearing to cheat underhandedly in a race. Now, Speed Racer is quickly sweeping the racing world with his artistic skill, driving the Mach 5 (and later the Mach 6) of his father's design, but remains interested only in the art of the race and the well-being of his family.

When Mr. Royalton (Roger Allam), owner of conglomerate Royalton Industries, offers Speed an astoundingly luxurious lifestyle in exchange for signing to race with him, Speed is tempted but declines, knowing that his father would never wish Speed to sign with the very power-hungry corporations he so mistrusts. When Speed refuses Mr. Royalton's offer, Royalton reveals that top corporate interests, including Royalton himself, are fixing the races to gain profit, and then threatens Speed's career success and very life when he still does not agree to sign on. Royalton later proves ready to make good on his threats, after Speed is forced to crash by other drivers during a race, and causing his family's business to be bombarded with lawsuits. Speed decides he must do something to stop Royalton and save the Racer business, and an opportunity arises in the form of Inspector Detector, head of a corporate crimes division. The Inspector explains that racer Taejo Togokhan (Rain) claims to have evidence that could indict Royalton. However, he is only willing to give up the evidence if he is assisted in winning the Casa Cristo. Taejo believes his win could cause his family's racing business stock to soar, and thus cause a proposed Royalton-arranged company buyout to be more expensive. Taejo had specifically requested Speed and the mysterious masked Racer X (Matthew Fox) to be on his team. Speed agrees, and initially keeps his entrance in the race a secret from his family.

Speed begins to suspect that Racer X is actually his brother Rex in disguise, after they drive together and work naturally as a team. His family eventually discover he has entered the Casa Cristo, and despite his father's initial anger, they agree to support him. Speed overcomes Royalton's brutal team and many seemingly insurmountable obstacles to win the Casa Cristo 5000. It is, unfortunately, a sham victory, as it is revealed Taejo never had any such evidence against Royalton, and was only interested in helping his father's business.

An angry Speed hits the old track his brother Rex used to take him as a boy, and the arrival of Racer X leads Speed to confront X, demanding to know the truth as to whether or not he is Rex. Racer X removes his mask, revealing an unfamiliar face, and tells Speed that his brother Rex truly is dead. Speed returns home, and Taejo's sister Horuko (Yu Nan) arrives, giving Speed Taejo's automatic invitation to the Grand Prix, as she felt bad for what her brother had done, noting that Taejo had declined to accept anyway. After 32 hours of family effort, the Mach 6 is rebuilt (having been destroyed in the race following Speed's refusal to sign with Royalton), and Speed hits the Grand Prix for the greatest race of his life, with a bounty on his head from the other drivers, and pitted against legendary Hall of Fame driver Cannonball Taylor.

Speed overcomes a slow start to catch up with lead racer Taylor, but Taylor uses a device known as "Spearhook" to latch Speed's car to his (because the device attaches the cars from underneath, it is unseen by video cameras). However, Speed uses his jump jacks to expose the Spearhook device to video cameras and simultaneously cause Taylor to crash. Royalton watches in horror as Speed manages to finish and win the race, and realizes that he's been exposed for his crimes. Furthermore, it is revealed to the audience at the movie's end that Rex had faked his death at the Casa Cristo, and that Rex really is Racer X (as in the original series), having underwent plastic surgery to change his face, and helping his younger brother save his family and his sport. He chose not to reveal his identity to his family, presumably for their protection. When the Inspector asks Rex if he made a mistake hiding the truth from his family, he simply says it's a mistake he would have to live with, as he felt that it would do more damage to return to them rather than continue to live in hiding. As the cameras flash, Speed scoops Trixie up and kisses her, as he had promised to do earlier in the film. A short magazine montage at the end confirms that Royalton's perversities were finally disclosed to the public (with Taejo as a witness in the trial) and that he is sentenced to jail for life, and it also states that "Cheaters Never Prosper".

In September 1992, Warner Bros. announced that it held the option to create a live action film adaptation of Speed Racer, in development at Silver Pictures. In October 1994, singer Henry Rollins was offered the role of Racer X in the film. In June 1995, actor Johnny Depp was cast into the lead role for Speed Racer, with production slated to begin the coming October, with filming to take place in California and Arizona. The following August, Depp requested time off to the studio for personal business, delaying production. However, due to a high budget, the same August, director Julien Temple, who was attached to direct Speed Racer, left the project. Depp, without a director, also departed from the project. The studio considered director Gus Van Sant as a replacement for Temple, though it would not grant writing privileges to Van Sant. In December 1997, the studio briefly hired director Alfonso Cuarón for Speed Racer. In the various incarnations of the project, screenwriters Marc Levin, Jennifer Flackett, J. J. Abrams, and Patrick Read Johnson had been hired to write scripts.

In September 2000, Warner Bros. and producer Lauren Shuler Donner hired writer-director Hype Williams to take the helm of Speed Racer. In October 2001, the studio hired screenwriters Christian Gudegast and Paul Scheuring for $1.2 million split between them to write a script for the film. Eventually, without production getting under way, the director and the writers left the project. In June 2004, actor Vince Vaughn spearheaded a revival of the project by presenting a take for the film that would develop the characters more strongly. Vaughn was cast as Racer X and was also attached to the project as an executive producer. With production never becoming active, Vaughn was eventually detached from the project.

In October 2006, directors Larry and Andy Wachowski were brought on board by the studio to write and direct Speed Racer. Producer Joel Silver, who had collaborated with the Wachowski brothers for V for Vendetta and The Matrix Trilogy, explained that the brothers were hoping to reach a broader audience with a film that would not be rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America. Visual effects designer John Gaeta, who won an Academy Award for Visual Effects for the Wachowski brothers' The Matrix, was brought in to help conceive making Speed Racer into a live-action adaptation. Production was set to begin in summer 2007 in European locations for a summer 2008 release. In November 2006, the release date for Speed Racer was set for May 23, 2008. Producer Joel Silver described Speed Racer as a family film in line with the Wachowski brothers' goal to reach a wider audience.

In February 2007, the Wachowski brothers selected Babelsberg Studios in Germany to film Speed Racer. In the following March, Warner Bros. moved the release date of Speed Racer two weeks earlier to May 9, 2008. The studio received a grant of $12.3 million from Germany's new Federal Film Fund, the largest yet from the organization, for production of Speed Racer in the Berlin-Brandenburg region. The amount was later increased to $13 million. Filming commenced on June 5, 2007 in Berlin, and was shot entirely against greenscreen, lasting 60 days. The Wachowski brothers filmed in high-definition video for the first time. With the camera, the Wachowskis used a layering approach that would put both the foreground and the background in focus to give it the appearance of real-life anime. The film will have a "retro future" look, according to Silver. The Mach 5, the vehicle driven by the protagonist Speed, was an actual vehicle. Filming completed by August 25, 2007. The Wachowskis purchased the rights to the sound effects and theme song of the television series for use in the film.

Animal rights group PETA claimed that a whistleblower on the set of Speed Racer reported that a chimpanzee used in the production was beaten after biting an actor. The incident was confirmed by the American Humane Animal Safety Representative on the set, who reported that the stand-in for the Spritle character was bitten without provocation. The AHA representative also reported that “toward the end of filming, during a training session in the presence of the American Humane Representative, the trainer, in an uncontrolled impulse, hit the chimpanzee.” The AHA Film Unit referred to this abuse as “completely inexcusable and unacceptable behavior in the use of any animal.” The AHA has rated Speed Racer “Unacceptable” chiefly because of this incident, with American Humane noting "the aforementioned training incident tarnishes the excellent work of the rest of production" and that it "has no method of separating the actions of one individual in the employ of a production from the production as a whole".

The film was backed by multiple promotional partners with over $80 million in marketing support. The partners include General Mills, McDonald's, Target, Topps, Esurance, Mattel, LEGO and Petrobras. The film also received support from companies outside of America in an attempt to attract international audiences. With early support before the film's release, the studio provided 3d computer models of the Speed Racer vehicle Mach 5 to the companies so they could accurately render the vehicle in their merchandise. Warner Bros. aimed to garner enough attention for Speed Racer so it would spawn sequels.

Mattel produced toys based on the film through several divisions. Hot Wheels produced die-cast vehicles, race sets and track sets. Tyco produced remote-controlled Mach 5s and racing sets. Radica Games produced video games in which players can use a car wheel. The products became available in March 2008. Also, The LEGO Company produced 4 LEGO sets based on the movie. As part of the General Mills promotional tie-in, during the 2008 Crown Royal Presents the Dan Lowry 400, part of the 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup season, the famous #43 Dodge Charger of Petty Enterprises was transformed into a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series version of the Mach 5, driven by Bobby Labonte.

Warner Bros. self-published a video game based on Speed Racer, which was released on May 6, 2008 on the Nintendo DS and Wii, and was released on September 16, 2008 for the PlayStation 2. The original music for the Speed Racer video game was written by Winifred Phillips and produced by Winnie Waldron. The game was released on the Nintendo DS and Wii in May with the film's theatrical release and was released on the PS2 in the fall to accompany the film's DVD and Blu-ray release. Due to a short development schedule, the studio chose not to develop games for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

In the United Kingdom, Metro newspaper ran a "Buy One Get One Free" offer on tickets for Speed Racer showing at the Empire Cinema in London's Leicester Square.

In addition to the orchestral score, WB added an updated version of the "Go, Speed Racer, Go" theme song which plays during the end credits. Produced by Ali Dee and Jason Gleed, performed by Ali Dee Theodore and the Deekompressors. The film version has sections in English, Japanese, French, Portuguese, and Spanish.

Speed Racer has received generally negative reviews from film critics. Rotten Tomatoes ranked the film as "rotten", with only 36% of its selected critics giving the film positive reviews, based on 194 reviews (70 "fresh", 124 "rotten") with an average rating of 5.0/10, and it has an even worse rating of 30% from its top critics based on 37 reviews (11 "fresh", 26 "rotten") with an average rating of 4.6/10. It did, however, score a 76% percent "fresh" rating in the website user category. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the film has received an average score of 37 out of 100, which indicates "generally negative reviews", based on 37 reviews.

Todd McCarthy of Variety called the film "pure cotton candy too sweet and pretty for young people to resist". He said that the target audience of families and children should be amused, but that others might think the film "a cinematic pile-up", citing its implausibility and the lack of identifiable peril in the driving sequences. McCarthy noted that no expense had been spared on the effects, saying that viewers with an interest in CGI innovations would be "in a corner of heaven", but that the frame sometimes resembled "nothing so much as a kindergartner's art class collage". He had praise for the cinematography and the "playful and busy" musical score. He also said that even if not much was asked of them "other than to look alert and driven", the cast was "very good for this sort of thing", and Roger Allam made "a delicious love-to-hate-him villain".

Kirk Honeycutt of The Hollywood Reporter said that the visual effects were "stellar", but that unlike Pixar films which are aimed at as broad an audience as possible, Speed Racer "plays very young" and "proudly denies entry into its ultra-bright world to all but gamers, fanboys and anime enthusiasts." He said that story and character were "tossed aside" to "focus obsessively" on the action sequences. He called the number of races "wearying", saying they "all look alike no matter what the backgrounds," though indicating that "each race happens in a completely different environment." He also notes the ineffectiveness of "chimpanzee tricks, kid-brother high jinks, Ninja martial arts by the whole family and a raft of vicious yet harmless villains" to make the long story sequences more bearable.

Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune described Speed Racer as "buoyant pop entertainment focused on three things: speed, racing and retina-splitting oceans of digitally captured color" that takes place in "a freshly conceived visual universe." He says that "the Wachowskis respect the dynamism of the original drawings, while carving out their own middle ground between computer animation and live action. They respect also the themes of honor, dishonor, family loyalty and Visigoth-inspired barbarism behind the wheel." The cast is praised as being "earnest" and "gently playful." However, he notes that "the film runs an overgenerous two hours and 15 minutes, and it sags in its midsection" with unnecessary dialogue.

In its opening weekend, the film grossed $18,561,337 from around 6,700 screens at 3,606 theaters in the United States and Canada, ranking third at the box office behind Iron Man (in its second weekend) and What Happens in Vegas... (a new release). In its second weekend, the film grossed $8,117,459 and ranked #4 at the box office. The results were well below studio expectations, given that production costs of Speed Racer are estimated to be about $120 million USD. Despite the low box office numbers, Warner Brothers remains optimistic about sales of associated products ranging from toys to tennis shoes. "We're still going to do very well with Speed Racer," says Brad Globe, president of Warner Brothers Consumer Products, acknowledging "a giant movie would have made it all a lot bigger.". According to Box Office Mojo, the movie has grossed slightly over $93 million worldwide, and according to IMDBpro the film has grossed over $95 million, still missing the Australia and France openings.

Warner Home Video released the Wachowski brothers film 'Speed Racer' to Blu-ray and DVD on September 16. The three-disc set features the main feature and supplemental features on the first disc, the DVD game "Speed Racer Crucible Challenge" on the second disc, and a digital copy of the film on the third disc - the last two being exclusive to the Blu-ray release. The digital copy is for Windows-based PCs; despite what the sticker on the outside packaging reads, the file is not compatible with Apple products like Macs or iPods, and the user is charged a fee of $1.99 to download the digital copy.

As of December 2008, DVD sales have made $18.2 million.

Its Blu-ray sales were around 50,000 units and had a $1.3 million profit.

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Bound (film)

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Bound is a 1996 neo-noir crime thriller film directed by the Wachowski Brothers. It is about a woman (Jennifer Tilly) who longs to escape her relationship with her mafioso boyfriend (Joe Pantoliano). When she meets the alluring ex-con (Gina Gershon) hired to renovate the next-door apartment, the two women begin an affair and hatch a scheme to steal $2 million of Mafia money.

Bound was the first film directed by the Wachowskis, and they took inspiration from Billy Wilder to tell a noir story filled with sex and violence. Financed by Dino De Laurentiis, the film was made on a tight budget with the help of frugal crewmembers including cinematographer Bill Pope. The directors initially struggled to cast the lesbian characters of Violet and Corky before securing Tilly and Gershon. To choreograph the sex scenes, the directors employed sex educator Susie Bright, who has a bit part in the film.

Bound received positive reviews from film critics who praised the humor and style of the directors as well as the realistic portrayal of a lesbian relationship in a mainstream film. Detractors of the film criticized the excessive violence and superficiality of the plot. It won several festival awards during 1996 and 1997.

Corky (Gina Gershon), a lesbian ex-con who has just finished a five-year jail sentence, arrives at an apartment building to start work as a painter and plumber. On her way to the apartment, she encounters the couple who live next-door, Violet (Jennifer Tilly) and Caesar (Joe Pantoliano). Violet flirts with Corky and asks her to help retrieve an earring that has fallen down her sink. After Corky extracts the earring, Violet admits she lost it on purpose in order to get closer to Corky, and starts to seduce her. They are interrupted by the arrival of Caesar. When Corky leaves, Violet follows her home and completes the seduction. The next morning, Violet tells Corky that Caesar is a money launderer for the Mafia and they have been together for five years (a sentence similar to Corky's).

Later, Violet overhears Caesar and his Mafia buddies beating and torturing Shelly (Barry Kivel), a man who has been skimming money from the business. Upset by the violence and cruelty, Violet seeks solace from Corky. She tells Corky that she wants to make a new life for herself, but that she needs her help. Knowing that Caesar will find the nearly $2 million Shelly took and count it in their apartment, she hatches a scheme with Corky to steal the money. Corky, already wary of Violet's intentions and dalliances with men, is unsure whether to trust her.

After Shelly is shot and killed by Johnnie (Christopher Meloni), the son of Mafia boss Gino Marzonne (Richard C. Sarafian), Caesar returns to the apartment with a bag of bloody money. Angry at Johnnie for killing Shelly in a fit of rage and splattering blood everywhere, Caesar proceeds to wash, iron and hang the money to dry.

Violet explains to Corky that Caesar and Johnnie hate each other, and that Gino and Johnnie will be coming to pick up the money from Caesar. The plan is as follows: When Caesar has finished counting the money, Violet will get him a drink to relax him before he showers. Corky will be next-door, waiting until she hears Caesar turn on the shower. When he does, Violet will drop the bottle of Scotch that is for Gino and tell Caesar that she is going to buy more. As she leaves the apartment, she will let Corky in, who will steal the money from a briefcase and leave. Violet will then return with the Scotch and tell Caesar that she just saw Johnnie leaving, but that Gino was not with him. Suspicious, Caesar will check the briefcase, find the money gone, and assume Johnnie has taken it. Corky and Violet think Caesar will be forced to skip town because Gino will assume he has been robbed by Caesar, not his son.

Everything goes as planned until Caesar finds the money gone. He realizes that if he runs, Gino will think he took the money. He decides he has to get the money back from Johnnie. Panicking, Violet threatens to leave. Caesar pulls out his gun and forces her to stay, thinking that maybe she and Johnnie have stolen the money and framed him.

Corky waits next-door with the money while Gino and Johnnie arrive. After watching Johnnie flirt with Violet and taunt him, Caesar pulls out a gun and tells Gino that his son stole the money. In an angry panic, he kills them both. He tells Violet that they have to find the money, dispose of the bodies, and pretend Gino and Johnnie never arrived, lest their Mafia pals find the money or men missing. Unable to find the money at Johnnie's apartment, Caesar telephones Micky (John P. Ryan), a Mafia friend, telling him that Gino has yet to arrive.

After discovering Corky and Violet stole the money, Caesar ties them up, gags them, threatens to torture them, and demands to know where it is. When Micky arrives to see what is going on, Caesar tells him Gino was in a car accident and Micky leaves for the hospital. Corky tells Caesar where she has hidden the money, and he goes next-door to find it. Violet escapes and makes a phone call to Micky, telling him that Caesar stole the money and forced her to keep quiet. In the meantime, Corky tries to stop Caesar from taking the money, but he beats her to the ground. Just as he is about to kill her, Violet arrives and pulls a gun on Caesar, telling him that Micky is on his way and that he should run while he can. Caesar tells Violet that he knows she will not shoot him, to which she replies, "Caesar, you don't know shit", before killing him.

Later, Micky, who believes Violet's story, tells her that he will find Caesar, and that there is no need to involve the police. Micky wants Violet to be his girlfriend, but she tells him that she needs a clean break— which she makes by driving off hand-in-hand with Corky.

Film producer Joel Silver has said that after working as scriptwriters on Assassins, the Wachowski Brothers made Bound as an "audition piece" to prove that they knew what to do on a movie set. They had the idea to write a story about how one might see a woman on the street and make assumptions about her sexuality, but how those assumptions might be wrong. They wanted to play with stereotypes and make an entertaining film that contained sex and violence, because those are the kinds of films that they like to watch. Seeing film noir as a genre within which they could tell a contained story and twist conventions, they described Billy Wilder as a big influence.

When executives at some studios read the script, they told the Wachowskis that if they changed the character of Corky to that of a man, they would be interested. The brothers declined, saying "that movie's been made a million times, so we're really not interested in it." Dino De Laurentiis, the executive producer on Assassins, offered to finance Bound and his company produced it, giving them "free rein" over the story. The film's budget was $6,000,000.

The Wachowski brothers struggled to cast the roles of Violet and Corky, seemingly because of the lesbian content of the film. Few actresses were interested. The part of Violet was expected to go to Linda Hamilton, and Jennifer Tilly read for the part of Corky. She loved the role and was looking forward to playing a character very different from previous parts in her career. When the part of Violet became available, and Gina Gershon came in to read for Corky, Tilly agreed that Gershon would make a better Corky. She realized that she identified with the character of Violet, a woman "underestimated by all the men around her" who has to "play the game". She describes it as the best role she had ever had. Gina Gershon suggested Joe Pantoliano to the Wachowski Brothers for the part of Caesar. His first lead role in a film, he describes it as his favorite.

Bound was shot in thirty-eight days in Santa Monica, California. The Wachowski's original director of photography resigned on the grounds that he could not do the film with the limited budget he had available, nor did he know anyone he believed could. The brothers subsequently hired cinematographer Bill Pope, who knew " a bunch of cheap guys". Pope became heavily involved in creating the visual noir style of the film. He and the Wachowskis drew from their love of comics and were influenced by Frank Miller's neo-noir Sin City series in particular. Pope's sound counterpart was sound director Dane Davis. One of his ideas was to give Corky a cat-like quality by making a "swishing" sound every time she walks past the camera in the scene where she and Violet plan the theft.

The Wachowskis asked Joe Pantoliano to watch John Huston's The Treasure of the Sierra Madre and to focus on Humphrey Bogart's character in order to prepare the paranoia of Caesar. Gershon's influences for her role were James Dean, Marlon Brando and Clint Eastwood. Both Gershon and Tilly were nervous about filming the sex scenes and prepared by drinking tequila.

Very little improvisation took place during the filming due to the directors' extensive planning and clear vision for the film. Not everything went as expected, however, as the physical exchanges in the script caused some injuries. Barry Kivel, whose character Shelly was violently beaten in Caesar's bathroom, received a head injury from his head being banged against the toilet. In the scenes between Corky and Caesar near the end of the film, Gina Gershon hit her hand so hard when she knocked a gun from Joe Pantoliano's hand that she required stitches.

The sex scenes were choreographed by feminist writer and sex educator Susie Bright. The Wachowski brothers were fans of Bright and sent her a copy of the script with a letter asking her to be an extra in the film. When she read the script she loved it, particularly as it was about women enjoying having sex and not apologizing for it. Disappointed that they never described exactly what was happening in the sex scenes, she asked if she could be a sex consultant for the film and they agreed. The main sex scene set in Corky's apartment was filmed in one long shot. The Wachowski Brothers believed that this would look more realistic than several shots edited together. Although it should have been a closed set, there were actually many people present, moving the walls of the set in order to allow full movement of the camera around the actors.

Bright appeared as Jesse, the woman Corky tries to talk to in the bar. Comedienne Margaret Smith played Jessie's girlfriend and the extras in the bar scene were Bright's friends — "real life San Francisco dykes".

The Wachowski brothers describe several themes present in Bound. They say that the film is about "the boxes people make of their lives", that it is not only gay people who "live in closets". They wanted to define all of Bound's characters by the "sort of trap that they were making out of their lives". Violet is trapped in her life with Caesar, and in the first scene, Corky is literally inside Violet's closet, bound and gagged by Caesar. This scene is echoed later in the film when Violet says "I had this image of you inside of me..." This theme of being trapped is exacerbated by the claustrophobic feeling created by the fact that most of the film takes place in Corky's apartment, Violet and Casear's apartment, or the apartment next door where Corky is working.

Susie Bright described some of the specifically lesbian themes of the film. One is the concept of the hand as a sex organ, highlighted by lingering camera shots of Corky and Violet's hands. Another is the repeated use of water as a symbolic motif to represent women, present for example when Corky is retrieving Violet's earring from the sink. Bright describes it as a movie that is "wet" (feminine) as opposed to "hard" (masculine). She says the scene where Corky and Violet have their first conversation is full of "lesbian signs". She highlights the fact that Violet, away from Caesar, is wearing jeans and able to be less overtly feminine. Jennifer Tilly says that whenever Violet is talking to men, her voice becomes high-pitched and "girly" — making her seem vulnerable and ensuring she is taken care of. Joe Pantoliano agrees, saying that the result is that "everyone in the film wants to be with Violet". When she is with Corky, Violet can drop the act and talk at a more natural pitch. According to Bright, the more subtle lesbian themes of the film were noticed and appreciated at the LGBT film festival screenings.

Bound was rated by the Motion Picture Association of America as R for "strong sexuality, violence and language." To achieve that rating, the directors had to cut part of the first sex scene between Corky and Violet. They were most concerned with the images of what Larry Wachowski called "hand-sex". It was rated R in Australia, R18 in New Zealand and 18 in the United Kingdom. In Canada it was rated as R in Manitoba and Ontario, 18 in Nova Scotia and 16+ in Quebec.

The film premiered on August 31, 1996, at the Venice Film Festival and in September went on to play at the Toronto Film Festival. It opened in U.S. theaters on October 4, 1996 distributed by Gramercy Pictures, showing in 261 theaters. It closed after three weeks. It opened in the United Kingdom on February 28, 1997.

Bound was released on Region 1 DVD on November 12, 1997, by Republic Pictures. It featured the original theatrical trailer and an audio commentary by the directors and stars. It was released on Region 2 DVD on August 25, 2003, by Pathé Distribution featuring original theatrical trailers, audio commentary by the directors and stars, cast and crew biographies and a production featurette. Its Region 4 DVD release, distributed by Reel and featuring an audio commentary, came on August 14, 2006.

Bound grossed $3,802,260 in the United States. In its opening weekend, showing at 261 theaters, it earned $900,902, which was 23.7% of its total gross. According to Box Office Mojo, it ranked at 161 for all films released in the United States in 1996, and at 74 for R-rated films released that year. As of June 2007, its all-time ranking for LGBT-related films is 54.

Rotten Tomatoes gave it a "fresh" rating of 91% based on 32 reviews, and Metacritic gave it a score of 61% based on 19 reviews. The Wachowski brothers were widely acclaimed by critics for their debut which was described as clever, sophisticated and stylish. Roger Ebert said that their skillful film making showed virtuosity and confidence. Marjorie Baumgarten writing for The Austin Chronicle called it an impressive debut saying that the Wachowskis have "style to burn". James Kendrick called it a darkly comical and stunning film, saying it signalled the arrival of the Wachowskis on the film scene. Detractors of the film included Todd McCarthy for Variety, who said that the directors had no sense of humor and lacked depth, that the film was pretentious, superficial and heavy-handed.

On the release of Bound, the Wachowskis were compared by many to the Coen Brothers. Rita Kempley for The Washington Post went so far as to call them "Coen Brothers clones". In particular, similarities were drawn between Bound and the Coen Brothers' first film, 1984 neo-noir Blood Simple. Bryant Frazer for Deep Focus called it an "obvious precursor". Critics noted resemblances to the films of Quentin Tarantino and Alfred Hitchcock.

Janet Maslin for The New York Times said that the grisly violence in Bound would likely limit its audience and Ebert said that its shocking violence would offend some audiences. Some critics said that the violent behavior of the characters had no moral justification. Rita Kempley for The Washington Post called it "well-nigh unwatchable cruelty for its own sake". McCarthy, who called the central relationship between the two women unbelievable and unsympathetic, said "just because Violet and Corky fall for each other doesn't mean they somehow fall into a privileged state of grace in which vile behavior can be forgiven." Other critics were less concerned, calling the violence "comically excessive" and "Tarantino-like".

Bound was praised for being perhaps the first mainstream film to have a LGBT relationship at its heart without homosexuality being central to the plot. Despite the presence of "unapologetically gay" lead character of Corky, it is not considered a "lesbian movie". Emanuel Levy said that this is a weakness, that mainstream films with broadening storylines "do not necessarily represent a positive development in the making of gay and lesbian films" and that Bound has "little, if anything, to do with lesbian cinema". Jonathan Rosenbaum for the Chicago Reader called it a "welcome change" to have a lesbian couple as the main characters in a mainstream film. Sarah Warn for AfterEllen.com called Corky "the closest thing to a realistic and sympathetic butch lesbian we've seen in a mainstream movie". Barry Walters for the San Francisco Chronicle praised the film for showing gay characters that have an active sex life. The sex scenes, described as explicit and steamy, were admired for being tasteful, discreet and realistic. Warn called them "some of the best lesbian sex scenes to date in a mainstream movie".

The three lead actors were complimented for their performances. Ebert said that Gershon and Tilly were electric together, and Frazer said that he would have liked to have seen more of their love story. Some critics, however, described their onscreen relationship as unbelievable and unsympathetic. Gershon was seen to have made a comeback after her role in the less well received 1995 film Showgirls. Tilly's performance was compared to her Academy Award-nominated part in Bullets Over Broadway. Pantoliano was described as "a lot of fun" and having "trickiest scenes in the movie".

Bound won the Grand Jury Award - Honorable Mention at the 1996 L.A. Outfest, and in the same year won an Honorable Mention at the Stockholm International Film Festival. At the 1997 Fantasporto festival in Portugal, the Wachowski brothers were awarded the International Fantasy Film Award for best film, and Jennifer Tilly picked up the award for best actress. Bound won the 1997 GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding (wide-release) Film.

The score, composed by Don Davis, was given a promotional release on November 25, 1997, on the Super Tracks Music Group, but has never been released commercially. Having her character Corky play a Jew's harp was Gina Gershon's idea. The directors were significantly limited by their budget when it came to choosing songs for the soundtrack. They had wanted to use "The Girl from Ipanema" and Frank Sinatra songs, but could not afford to. The four songs used in the film were not included on the score release.

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The Matrix (series)

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The Matrix franchise comprises a trilogy of science-fiction-adventure films written and directed by the Wachowski brothers and produced by Joel Silver. The first film The Matrix was released in March, 1999. After the film's success, two sequels were greenlighted, titled The Matrix Reloaded (May 2003) and The Matrix Revolutions (November 2003). The characters and settings of the Matrix fictional universe are further explored in other media, including animation, comics, and video games.

The series depicts a complex science fiction story incorporating many philosophical elements. Other influences include cyberpunk, mythology, anime, Hong Kong action films (particularly "heroic bloodshed" and martial arts movies), simulated reality and philosophy of mind. Though not directly, key concepts of several beliefs are touched upon, including Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism.

The series began with 1999's The Matrix. The film, directed by the Wachowski brothers and produced by Joel Silver, was highly successful, earning $460 million worldwide and beating Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace for the Academy Award for Visual Effects. In addition, by 2000, the DVD release of the film reached three million sales, the first DVD release in the United States to do so.

The first film's mainstream success led to the greenlighting of the next two films of the trilogy, The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions. Under the project codename "The Burlyman" (later to become the name of the Wachowski Brothers' comic book production company, Burlyman Entertainment), it took a number of years and several iterations of scripts before the final films were approved. The two sequels, which tell a continuous story rather than being stand-alone episodes, were filmed simultaneously and released six months apart. The films are collectively referred to The Matrix Trilogy.

In acknowledgment of the strong influence of Japanese anime on the Matrix series, The Animatrix was produced in 2003. This is a collection of nine animated short films intended to further flesh out the concepts, history, characters and setting of the series. The objective of The Animatrix project was to give other writers and directors the opportunity to lend their voices and interpretation to the Matrix universe; the Wachowski brothers conceived of and oversaw the process, and they wrote four of the segments themselves, although they were given to other directors to execute. Many of the segments were produced by notable figures from the world of Japanese animation. Four of the films were originally released on the series' official website, one was shown in cinemas with Dreamcatcher, one was shown on MTV, MTV2, MTV3, and MTV4, and the others first appeared with the DVD release of all nine shorts shortly after the release of The Matrix Reloaded.

On 15 May, 2003, the game Enter the Matrix was released in the United States concurrently with The Matrix Reloaded. The first of three video games related to the films, it told a story running parallel to The Matrix Reloaded and featured scenes shot during the filming of The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions. But the plot was specifically intended for the game.

Over a year after the cinematic release of the final film, Revolutions, Warner Home Video released The Ultimate Matrix Collection, a 10-Disc DVD set of the films. It included the three films, The Animatrix, and six discs of additional material. A Limited Edition of the collection encases the ten discs, as well as a resin bust of Neo, inside a Lucite box.

In addition, several comics and short stories based on the series – one written by the Wachowskis, the others by guest writers – were released on the official website. Many of these have since been collected in two printed volumes of The Matrix Comics.

The movies are said to be influenced by the Japanese Animation, Ghost in the Shell. While the first movie was extremely successful, both critically and popularly, the quality of the sequels is still a matter of debate. Some fans and professional critics believe they exceed the quality and conceptual heights of the first film, while others found the later films disappointing. The Matrix Reloaded was well received by critics, currently holding an average rating of 73% (Certified Fresh) on Rotten Tomatoes. However, the reaction of some fans to this sequel has been mixed. When The Matrix Revolutions was released, one complaint was that it did not give clear cut answers to the questions raised in Reloaded but rather raised new ones. The XKCD webcomic's ten-year homage posits that the sequels are unmentionable in the presence of serious fans.

The Matrix series has also inspired a new religious movement called Matrixism: The path of the One. The religion was conceived by an anonymous group in mid-2004 and by November 2004 it claimed to have attracted upwards of 300 members. Current reports indicate that there are now approximately 16,000 followers of Matrixism worldwide. Even though Matrixism has grown substantially and its Geocities website (username: matrixism2069) has received significant attention in the media some still debate whether Matrixists are serious about their beliefs.

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Influences and interpretations of The Matrix

The Matrix makes numerous references to recent films and literature, and to historical myths and philosophy including Messianism, Buddhism, Gnosticism, Existentialism, Nihilism, Vedanta, Advaita Hinduism, Yoga Vashishta Hinduism and Sikhism. The film's premise resembles Plato's Allegory of the cave, René Descartes's evil daemon, Kant's reflections on the Phenomenon versus the Ding an sich, and the brain in a vat thought experiment, while Jean Baudrillard's Simulacra and Simulation is featured in the film. There are similarities to cyberpunk works such as Neuromancer by William Gibson.

Neo is an anagram of "One", significant because of the main character's journey and eventual realization of self.

Japanese director Mamoru Oshii's Ghost in the Shell was a strong influence. Producer Joel Silver has stated that the Wachowski brothers first described their intentions for The Matrix by showing him that anime and saying, "We wanna do that for real". Mitsuhisa Ishikawa of Production I.G, which produced Ghost in the Shell, noted that the anime's high-quality visuals were a strong source of inspiration for the Wachowski brothers. He also commented, "... cyberpunk films are very difficult to describe to a third person. I'd imagine that The Matrix is the kind of film that was very difficult to draw up a written proposal for to take to film studios." He stated that since Ghost in the Shell had gained recognition in America, the Wachowski brothers used it as a "promotional tool". Besides Ghost in the Shell, another Japanese anime which influenced The Matrix was the 1985 film Megazone 23, directed by Noboru Ishiguro and Shinji Aramaki. An American adaptation of Megazone 23 was released in 1986 as Robotech: The Movie. There are also several more Japanese anime and manga that can be found as sources of influence.

Reviewers have commented on similarities between The Matrix and other late-1990s films such as Strange Days, Dark City, and The Truman Show. Comparisons have also been made to Grant Morrison's comic series The Invisibles; Morrison believes that the Wachowski brothers essentially plagiarized his work to create the film. In addition, the similarity of the film's central concept to a device in the long running series Doctor Who has also been noted. As in the film, the Matrix of that series (introduced in the 1976 serial The Deadly Assassin) is a massive computer system which one enters using a device connecting to the head, allowing users to see representations of the real world and change its laws of physics; but if killed there, they will die in reality. There is also a similar "Matrix" used by the Travellers in Paul Cornell's 1992 Doctor Who spin-off novel Love and War, in which a socket at the top of the spine is used to plug into the Matrix.

The storyline and plot of The Matrix is similar to the theories behind Cthulhu Mythos by H. P. Lovecraft. Both stories deal with the idea that humans live in a world that is not what it seems. Humans are subject to a "curtain" in which they cannot make out what is reality and what is pre-programmed into their minds.

Not acknowledged, but strikingly similar is the 1982 hit video for 'literary myths, including Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Judeo-Christian imagery about Messianism, Buddhism, Gnosticism and the novels of William Gibson, especially Neuromancer. Gibson popularized the concept of a world-wide computer network with a virtual reality interface, which was named "the matrix" in his Sprawl Trilogy. However the concept and name apparently originated even earlier in the 1976 serial The Deadly Assassin on the British science-fiction television series Doctor Who, which featured a virtual reality known as the Matrix. The first writer about a virtual reality, populated with unsuspecting victims, was Daniel F. Galouye with Simulacron Three in 1964, however, it is also seen in Samuel R. Delany's 1963–1965 triology The Fall of the Towers (where soldiers think they are fighting a war in reality, but are actually suspended in a computer-generated simulation).

The concept of artificial intelligence overthrowing or enslaving mankind had previously been touched on by hundreds of science fiction stories. Many have commented that The Matrix was inspired by the work of Philip K. Dick, not only dealing with issues of Gnosticism and prophetic visions but also the war against the machines in a post-apocalyptic world. The idea of a world controlled by machines and all of humanity living underground goes back to the 1909 short story The Machine Stops by E. M. Forster.

The plot of The Matrix bears some resemblance to the basic plot of the book Neuromancer. This is not necessarily surprising, since both The Matrix and Neuromancer are roughly in the same cyberpunk genre. In both stories a computer hacker is recruited to perform a particularly difficult task. Some of the relevant conventions related to the genre might include the tough-guy hacker/cracker hero, his optional female sidekick, and the more-or-less malevolent artificial intelligences.

Several illustrative differences between the two works also exist. For example, Gibson's human Turing Police are tasked to limit the growth of artificial intelligences. The Agents of The Matrix, by contrast, are AIs who curtail human development. Gibson shows humans working alongside the AI Wintermute; their eventual triumph is presented as a victory for the "good guys". Again in contrast, the human-AI collaboration in The Matrix—Cypher defecting to the agents—appears to undermine all that good and right stand for. From this standpoint, The Matrix can be seen as an antithesis to Gibson's Neuromancer.

One other connection between the two is the use of a location called Zion. In Neuromancer, Zion is an orbital colony founded by Rastafarians, where the main characters dock before traveling to Freeside, the giant orbital station where the final act of the novel takes place. In The Matrix, Zion is the underground home of the free humans (never seen onscreen in the first movie, although it is featured prominently in the two sequels). It is possible that this is only a coincidence, and that Zion is used as a generalized metaphor for a mythical city which could be considered to be the last hope for humanity. However, given the obvious influences of Neuromancer on The Matrix, and the appearance of many Rastamen in Zion, it is likely that the name Zion is used as a metaphor (including its meaning to the Rastafari movement) and as a subtle homage to Gibson.

The film also shares many ideas with Grant Morrison's counter-culture comic book The Invisibles, with which the Wachowski brothers have professed a familiarity.

Some resemblances also exist to Frank Herbert's seminal novel, Dune, the concept of a war between humans and machines with religious overtones (Herbert's Butlerian Jihad). The sequels to The Matrix exhibit further similarities to Dune. The Matrix is only one of several pieces of fiction that have been influenced by this book.

The Matrix reused some of the film sets from Dark City, a movie filmed shortly before that was similar in plot and style. The Matrix incorporates many other cinematic influences, ranging from explicit homage to stylistic nuances, some of which have been acknowledged by the Wachowski brothers.

Its action scenes use a physics-defying style drawn directly from martial arts films, integrating Hong Kong-style wire work and kung fu (under the guidance of Yuen Wo Ping). The hyper-active gun fights recall the work of directors such as John Woo and Ringo Lam, while the shot composition during the build-up to Neo's climactic duel with Agent Smith is reminscent of clichés of Western films (featuring close-ups of hips and complete with modern-day tumbleweed).

In the film Total Recall, Arnold Schwarzenegger's character is offered a red pill to return to reality, in precisely the same way that Neo is; while the action scenes of Strange Days take place in virtual reality. The premise of characters being trapped in a computer-generated world has also been used in the Red Dwarf novel Better Than Life, among others. The Matrix also uses a common science fiction setting in which a dystopian Earth has formed through a struggle between humanity and machinery or AI; in which a small human "resistance" must fight to save humanity.

The Wachowski brothers have frequently cited Japanese animation as a strong source of inspiration; in the documentary on The Matrix Revisited DVD, Joel Silver explains that before making the film, the Wachowskis showed him an anime and then stated "We want to do that for real". The title sequence, the scene late in the movie where a character hides behind a column while pieces of it are blown apart by bullets, and a chase scene in a fruit market where bullets hit and burst watermelons, are practically identical to shots in Ghost in the Shell. Also, the movie borrows the idea of Ghost hacking, which was featured in the Ghost in the Shell movie.

A scene near the end of the movie, in which Neo's breathing seems to buckle the fabric of reality in the corridor around him, as well as the "psychic children" scene in the Oracle's waiting room are evocative of similar scenes from the 1980s anime classic Akira.

The general concept of a computer world that exists in connection to the real world is similar to the movie Tron.

The franchise's close relationship with anime continued with The Animatrix.

Trench coats and sunglasses play a significant role in the Matrix cinematic feel and have largely inspired a similar subculture. Viewers would know whether a character or situation was being played out within the Matrix if central characters were wearing their characteristically dark clothing, complete with sunglasses that would be of little use in the sunless realm of the real world. Sunglasses were worn regardless if it were day or night within the Matrix, adding to the image of detachment of reality in the Matrix, the dark cyber atmosphere, and also the artificial, industrial environment they lived in. Symbolically, this may reflect the degree of vulnerability of the characters; many characters (Morpheus, Agent Smith) lose (or even break) their sunglasses during major battles, or discard them: a symbolic disposal of the tough, unemotional image.

Not all characters within the Matrix wore glasses, but as a general rule, the rebels wore sunglasses that had rounded lenses, and adversaries such as Agents wore 'evil-looking' glasses with corners or angles. Notably, Cypher, the rebel who betrays Morpheus to the Agents, wore rectangular sunglasses, thus signifying his role as a "bad guy". Agent Smith's sunglasses changed after his transformation in The Matrix Reloaded from the square Agent-style into lenses shaped similarly to the protein capsule of certain viruses. It is also notable that Agent Smith's sunglasses & Neo's look strikingly similar except for the jagged vs. curved designs. The sunglasses used in this movie were custom-made on the set, although replicas are widely available. See the article about Agent Smith for the stylistic genealogy of the Agents.

Generally, secondary characters seem to follow the alternative fashion of the 90s, Indie and Rastas. It should be noted that the Rasta look seem to be very common of humans in Zion.

Elements of philosophy, theology and ontology are heavily present in The Matrix. Students of Gnosticism will notice many of its themes touched upon. There are also many references to Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, and Christianity, with concepts of enlightenment, nirvana and rebirth. Further references to Buddhism and Hinduism include the free will versus fate debate, perception, the concept of Maya, Karma and various ideas about the nature of existence. In many ways The Matrix is about a kind of reality enforcement, hyperreality or, some might say, an awareness that the material and physical world are an illusion.

Some Christian anarchists say the world we live in is a Matrix and the only way of escaping is through achieving enlightenment. They say notable escapees over the years have included Abraham, Moses, John the Baptist and Jesus of Nazareth. They believe the movie has many similarities to the New Testament with Neo, Morpheus and Cypher playing the parts of Jesus, John the Baptist and Judas respectively. These Christian anarchists believe the main difference to The Matrix is that outside our world lies paradise rather than the dark world portrayed in movie.

An alternative take on this theme which has been suggested is that the Matrix represents the old world of religion and superstition and that the path to true enlightenment is to embrace science and progress by shaking yourself free of the shackles imposed by society, although, paradoxically, Morpheus and Neo must make several typically human leaps of faith along their journey. In both interpretations, the Oracle plays a key role, communicating either prophecies or theories to the other characters.

There have been several books and websites written about the philosophy of The Matrix. One of the major debates arising from the film is the philosophical question, is our world reality or is it merely an illusion which is billions of years old? Similar questions have also been raised in other science fiction films such as eXistenZ and The Thirteenth Floor (both of which were released the same year as The Matrix, receiving relatively less attention in box office sales and ratings), Total Recall, The Truman Show and Abre los ojos (remade as Vanilla Sky).

The Matrix follows all phases of the Campbellian heroic myth arc with near-literal precision, including even minor details like the circular journey, the crucial battle happening underground, and even the three-headed immortal enemy (the three agents).

Another story structure claimed by esotericists to be archetypical, the Fool's Journey, can also be seen in the movie and associates the scenes of the movie, in sequence, with the "Major Arcana" of occult or divinatory tarot.

The character of the Oracle is strongly similar to that of the Oracle of ancient Greek legend. In particular, her warning to Neo that he is faced with a choice between saving his own life, or Morpheus' is very reminiscent of the warning that the Oracle gave to King Leonidas when setting out for the Battle of Thermopylae. In the Greek legend, she warns Leonidas that either his city will be left in ruins, or that a Greek king must die, thus Leonidas is left with the choice of his own life or the survival of his city. It could be further argued that had Neo chosen to save his own life, Smith would have gained the access codes he needed from Morpheus and the city of Zion would have fallen. Thus, ultimately, Neo's choice was the same as that of Leonidas: his own life, or the fate of a city.

The ideas behind The Matrix have been explored in old philosophical texts on epistemology, such as Plato's allegory of the cave and Descartes' Meditations on First Philosophy. Also Robert Nozick discussed the thought experiment in Anarchy, State and Utopia. In a well-known Solipsistic thought experiment, the subject is a brain in a vat of liquid; in the Matrix, Neo is a body in a vat.

Postmodern thought plays a tangible role in the movie. In an opening scene, Neo hides an illegal minidisk in a false copy of Jean Baudrillard's Simulacra and Simulation, a work that describes modern life as a hyperreal experience of simulation based upon simulation. Interpretations of The Matrix often reference Baudrillard's philosophy to demonstrate that the movie is an allegory for contemporary experience in a heavily commercialized, media-driven society, especially of the developed countries.

Some academics have argued that the Matrix series is consistent with a Marxist analysis of society. Professor Martin Danahay and then PhD candidate David Rieder co-wrote a chapter of the best-selling book The Matrix and Philosophy: Welcome to the Desert of the Real (ISBN 081269502X ) in which they argue that the movie gives a visual image of Marx’s ideas, particularly in the scene where Morpheus tells new recruit Neo that the computers have reduced him to nothing more than a battery.

Danahy and Rider also argue that rebellion against the machines' domination is an analogy for the modern-day workplace with the evil agents dressed like corporate executives, and Neo escaping from his cubicle to escape them. When he ambushes the evil agents later in the movie, they are in an office high-rise complete with impersonal decor. (Source: Arlington Star-Telegram, June 10, 2003).

Similarly, the Maoist International Movement has adopted the Matrix as one of its favourite films asserting that they "could not have asked for more in a two and a half hour Hollywood movie" and views it as an exercise in dialectics in which a new mode of production is explored, the "battery mode of production".

The youth wing of the Russian Communist Party has also embraced the Matrix and its sequels with youth wing leader Oleg Bondarenko asserting there is "no difference" between Neo and Lenin as revolutionaries.

There are also elements of conspiracy theories. Similar to John Carpenter's They Live, the Matrix is presented as the 'System', which secretly controls everything and which, according to the theorists, will eventually consume everyone. In the Matrix, high positions in companies and organisations are held only by those who are part of the System (programs, like Smith or Ramakandra). The Agents are those who uphold the 'order' and keep the 'consipracy' safe, like the MIB of pop culture.

See also: the philosophy section of the Official Matrix website.

It should be noted that the reason given in the movie for computers enslaving humans makes no sense from a thermodynamic point of view. The chemical energy required to keep a human being alive is vastly greater than the bio-electric or thermal energy that could be harvested; human beings, like all living beings, are not energy sources, but rather energy consumers. It would be vastly more effective to burn the organic matter to power a conventional electrical generator or to use geothermal energy or the heat generated by the dissipation of the tidal movements of the oceans and crust or any other not yet imagined source. The sunlight could only dimly penetrate the atmosphere in the movie. However, a biological-power alternative would be light-independent ecological systems that utilize mineral or methane degrading autotrophic bacteria. To conclude, there is no real incentive for the Machine to maintain a Matrix for power (or to enslave them).

Some people have pointed out the possibility that the laws of thermodynamics could work differently in real life than in the Matrix (to make it harder for people to suspect they are being used as a power source), or that the machines have technology not yet imaginable by humans, and thus the known laws of science are impossible to apply in this situation (Morpheus mentions that the human power source is "combined with a form of fusion"; but if the machines have such a cheap alternative to power, the Matrix necessity become diminished). Another possibility is that of the exploitation of latent electrokinetic abilities in human beings as demonstrated by Neo's destruction of a Sentinel in the Matrix Reloaded. On the other hand, Morpheus speaks of physical laws like gravity applying both to the real world and within its simulation, and the scenes we see within the real world are certainly consistent with physical laws as we know them. Entropy, however, can't be the machines' invention, because if it did not exist in their world, or if the direction of energy flow was sometimes concentrated instead of dissipated, the machines either could not exist, or would not require a constant source of energy to operate, mutually exclusive to the idea that humans blocked most sunlight from Earth to cut them off from their primary source of power.

Critical fans have speculated that the machines were actually using the humans' brains as components in a massively parallel neural network computer, and that the characters were simply mistaken about the purpose. A massively parallel neural network computer based on human brains might also be more energy-efficient to run than equivalent computer components, solving the thermodynamic paradox associated with the use of human bodies over conventional electrical generators. The characters' error would then be reflected in the "Zion Historical Archive" of "The Second Renaissance". In fact, this was very close to the original explanation. Because the writers felt that non-technical viewers would have trouble understanding this explanation, they abandoned it in favor of the "human power source" explanation. The neural-network explanation, however, is presented in the film's novelization and the short story "Goliath" by author Neil Gaiman, featured on the Matrix website and in the first volume of The Matrix Comics.

It is also established later in the trilogy that the machines and humans are interdependent for reasons more philosophical than technological.

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Source : Wikipedia