SciFi Rewind Episode 6
The Matrix – Free Your Mind
On this SciFi Rewind, Scott, Miles, and Kevin rewatch The Matrix and do a pretty thorough discussion on it. Listeners share their thoughts as well. You can join in the conversation by watching The Matrix: Reloaded and The Animatrix by May 17th and sending in your feedback. If you want to share your SciFi Rewind with us and have us talk about it on the show or if you want to comment on our rewinds, please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org (you can attach an mp3 audio file if you want) or call us at 18885084343.
Links from Kevin:
Facts about the Matrix:
If The Matrix did anything, thrilling audiences aside, it smashed together different movie styles and ideas in a way not previously seen by a mainstream audience. The film is packed with references, allusions, and homages to everything from hacker subcultures to philosophical texts from centuries past to Asian action films and animation to old Western films. The influence list for the movie is lengthy and includes movies such as Ghost in the Shell and 2001: A Space Odyssey, as well as texts such as Simulacra and Simulation–a heavy text by Jean Baudrillard that was required reading for all the major actors in The Matrix and also made an appearance in the film as a hiding place for floppy disks. Some more interesting trivia:
- Warner Brothers balked at the eighty million dollar budget the Wachowski Brothers were asking for. They offered them ten million instead. In a rather ballsy move the Brothers burned up all ten million dollars shooting the first ten minutes of the film. Executives at Warner Brothers were so impressed they gave them the rest of the money.
- The studio insisted on a script revision that included lots of explanatory dialog as they were concerned nobody would get the movie; coincidentally, Sean Connery turned down the role of Morpheus for that exact reason–he found the script impenetrable.
- On the topic of interesting casting decisions that never came to be: Will Smith was approached to play Neo, he turned down the role to star in Wild Wild West. He later commented on the decision by saying he was glad he’d turned down the role because he was not mature enough as an actor and would have ruined the movie.
- Many of the props used in the movie appeared quite exotic to American viewers: the spring loaded cellphones the main characters used were only available in Europe, the sunglasses they wore were custom made, and many of the firearms were crafted for the production (including the crazy automatic shotguns Mouse uses later in the film).