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New Escapist Column! On How “The Matrix” Reinvented the Hero’s Journey for the 1990s…

I published a new piece at The Escapist earlier today. The Matrix sparked some interesting conversation this weekend, with people debating the film as a metaphor for the trans experience.

This exists as part of a larger and more complicated debate around The Matrix, and the ownership of the film in popular imagination. The Matrix means a lot of things to a lot of people, and many of those things are seemingly contradictory. However, The Matrix resonates because it found a way to update the archetypal hero’s journey embodied by Star Wars for the nineties, transposing a lot of the same underlying ideas from one of the most turbulent decades of the twentieth century to one of the most stable. It did this by turning its gaze inward.

You can read the piece here, or click the picture below.

One Response

  1. Very interesting overview.

    I have to admit I find ‘The Matrix’ terribly dated and trite and as a teenager of the late 90s (born Sept. ’81) I, at least in theory, should have been exactly the right demographic. I suppose part of it is that as someone involved in the roleplaying scene a lot of what was ‘new’ in the film… just sort of wasn’t to me. The RPG community in the 90s was absolutely saturated by White Wolf games (‘Vampire: the Masquerade’ and especially in this context ‘Mage: The Ascension’.) The edgy solipsism embraced by the film was already old hat to me.

    I’m also one of those people who gets terribly uncomfortable at the lobby massacre. In fact my reaction to is actually worse than Alan Scherstuhl’s since I definitely got the impression those poor security guards are ‘real’ people, even if unawakened.

    Give me ‘The Truman Show’ any day of the weak – smarter, funnier, better acted and frankly far more visually interesting than the Wachowskis achingly hip sunglasses and trenchcoats.

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