Tuesday, May 13, 2003

The Matrix, Dumped

Adam Gopnik trashes the upcoming The Matrix Reloaded in an essay which also quite insightfully explores many of the ways the first Matrix film has been taken up over the last few years, culturally and philosophically. In particular, he spends a while talking about all the different ways the "brain-in-a-vat" scenario has played out in philosophy and popular entertainment (and wonderfully, he mentions a favorite sci-fi film of mine, the underrated Dark City, whose moment of realization (when the William Hurt character tumbles through the wall to reveal....) is every bit as cinematically thrilling as when Keanu Reeves woke up in his pod). However, oddly enough, despite dropping all sorts of names regarding the reality-perception problem, he someone manages to forget the father of them all: Descartes, with his evil deceiving demon argument (which has plenty of parallels to The Matrix all on its own).