Hi guys! Seems like those of you who participated in the Mr. Nobody EC Discussion had a pretty good experience and some pretty good insights! 😀

Next week, Week 4, in our Art Talk Discussion I’ll be talking mainly about Cave Art, but I’ll also refer to Keanu Reeves’ character Neo in The Matrix. Released in 1999, The Matrix is 17 years old now and I know many of you have never seen it.

So let’s do another “Movie Nite” EC Discussion. I hope you enjoy the film – it’s a rare combination of big ideas and big action. With Hollywood, you usually get one or the other. With The Matrix you get both.

If you watch The Matrix on Netflix, etc, and discuss the film in the comments on this page, I’ll give you up to 20 points of Extra Credit. You can watch it here:

This page will be open for discussion till the end of Week 4: Sunday, Sept 18, at 11:59pm

Watch & Talk! (& add to your comments whether you’re in 1p or 2:30)

Your insights on Mr. Nobody were good, and please do that again with The Matrix. (you can do this EC even if you didn’t do Mr. Nobody) You’ll find a lot of human culture woven into this story. Christ imagery. Buddhist ideas. And in our Week 4 Art Talk Video, The Mind in the Cave, you’ll hear me argue that Neo is “The Broken Man.” See if you can connect Neo in The Matrix to The Broken Man in the Lascaux Cave.

film poster for "The Matrix"

Written by Glenn Zucman

BA, Psychology, University of Hawaii, MFA, Intermedia Art, Long Beach State. Host of American Public Media's "Border Patrol." Host of KBeach Radio's "Strange Angels." Interested in Identity Art that explores our Oracle-at-Delphi-like straddling of corporeal and virtual realms in our new media century. Civil rights in online space. 10 years...
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Janis Vernier
Yesterday I watched ‘the Matrix’ again. It has been a while since I’ve seen the movie, even though it has been one of my favourits when I was a teenager. When i first saw it, I was about 14 or 15 years old and was specially fascinated by the fighting scenes and the so called ‘bullet time’ effects. I spent a lot of time watching those scenes frame by frame and then draw the characters trying to mace them look very dynamic and in motion. I think I owe that film a lot of my drawing skills. later during highschool I again stumbled upon this movie when we watched and discussed it in our philosophy class, comparing it to the ,Allegory of the Cave’ by Plato.
In this Allegory Platon describes a situation where people are imprisoned in a cave, chained in a way they can’t move their heads and are forced to watch onto a blank stone wall. they’ve been there since birth and have never seen anything else but shadows of other people and things reflected upon this wall. Platon says that for these people this word of two dimensional shadows is there whole realitiy and that it is impossible to convince them of what we’d know as a third dimensioun and the real world. The only way to teach them about all this, would be to free them and let them see and feel the real world on their own. Platos point is, that even our ‘real’ world might just be a reflection of an other bigger dimension. in ‘The Matrix’ we have pretty much thiis same Situation. Humanity does not ‘live’ in a real world but in a machine generated ‘virtual reality’ nobody in this VR would imagine that there is an ‘outer’ world because the illusion is almost perfect. Neo who is the hero of the movie is the ‘chosen one’ to see the real world and free the people.
It was fun to watch the movie again and discover some new aspects – especially the ideas of buddhism and meditation as a way of deliverance had not occured to me yet.


Jamie Van
It was my first time seeing The Matrix and I thought it was really great. It was more interesting than I had initially imagined. It was suspenseful and I thought that the war with humans versus the intelligent machines had a strange appeal to it. In fact, when they stated that The Matrix was actually a computer stimulation that illustrated how the world was in 1999 and kept all the minds of many humans in there to keep them calm. I started wondering if our realities might actually be a computer stimulation as well. Our world might just be a computer stimulation that our grandchildren are playing to see how we were. The only catch is that we, as the subjects, would not be able to tell, which is similar to how a majority of the humans in the movie were pacified under the computer system and could not recognize the truth of their world. They could not understand it and recognize their circumstances. It truly makes you wonder and question our existence and where we stand in the universe. No one would truly know if the world is virtually generated or a true reality because a sense of reality is relative to the individual. If living in a computer system is one’s reality and their whole life than it can be easy for one to believe that that it is only reality that exists when it may just as easily not be.

Glenn Zucman

haha, yes Jamie! I think the staggering complexity of a simulation that accounted for 7.2 billion humans, and all the other life on earth would be, well, staggering! It feels almost impossible to be a simulation. But it’s also pretty hard to prove that it is not! Sometimes I like to ask if you think The Matrix is “narrative fiction”, or a “documentary.” Nice insights Jamie (and everyone else!!)

Stephanie Arciva

Stephanie Arciva
Although this movie was very interesting, I loved all the action and its profound implications, this movie confused me in the beginning, similar to Mr. Nobody. In the end of the movie I began to think, “What is reality?” I feel like social media and our technology feeds us so much information that I began to wonder how much of our thoughts are actually from ourselves and “real.” In the movie, we just happen to discover the line between reality and the illusion. After tying back the “Broken Man” from in the Lascaux Caves, I realized more how Neo’s role reveals this knowledge that helps to guide people. Over and over throughout time, this “shaman” reflected a significant role that worked to discover knowledge and that is exactly what Neo does. I feel I have a lot to owe my understanding of the matrix through my understanding of the “Broken Man.” I feel I would have watched the movie more passively and not seen all these hidden messages throughout the movie. I feel that because these messages encompass a variety of ideologies, like his tap into meditation, the overall message becomes more significant to a wider audience. Overall, I felt this movie did a great job of continuing to pass on this idea of a “spirit man” that we have seen countless times over and continue to be amazed every time we see them in more recent times.


Yesenia Hernandez 2:30pm

I had not watched The Matrix since I about 10 or 11 years old. The Matrix was the first movie I saw in the movie theaters; I can clearly recall because my older brother was really excited about it. I love re-watching movies I saw as a child now as an adult because your perspective on the movie changes so much. My favorite scene in the movie was when Neo (Keanu Reeves) has to choose between the red or blue pill. It is a turning point and it reminded me of Mr. Nobody as he has to choose between his mother or his father at the train station. There is a thin line between reality and illusion in both The Matrix and Mr. Nobody. I wonder can Neo change his decision if this is only a simulation? Does he have the option to turn back time? The Broken Man in the Lascaux Cave is said to be a visual of a man in an altered state and in both movies this is evident. At the end of the movie it is hard to distinguish the simulated world from their reality. They could live in this trans and never know of their reality. This reminds me of virtual games and how people become addicted to them and only “live” through them. Technology is evolving so quickly a world like The Matrix does not seem impossible.

Nathan Davalos

I remember watching The Matrix as a young child, but not knowing exactly what the plot was. I was more intrigued in the flips and jumps that were going on in the film, and I loved to attempt an impersonation the actors in real life. I decided to watch the movie again about 5 years ago, and this time, being older, I payed less attention to the acrobatic moves that Keanu Reeves was performing, and payed more attention to the film’s plot. I was not a big fan of the movie since it was released in 1999 because the film work was not as up to date with the action movies post 2010. When I was given the opportunity to watch the movie once again, I still found the movie unenjoyable. I believe that now, we are so spoiled with the newest and greatest technology. With that being said, I find that The Matrix is not up to the standards of modern action movies. Don’t get me wrong, I love to watch classic movies, but for some reason I find this one less appealing. In today’s world, we are controlled by things that we used to control. For example, bank tellers are being replaced by ATM machines and in the film, the character named Neo hacks himself into The Matrix. The two examples are similar because both are being controlled by technology. Overall, this would not be my first choice for a movie night with SQUAD.

Joy Uba

Joy Uba 1pm

The first time I watched this video, I was really young. I think I was about eight or nine when I first watched it. It was very confusing. Maybe it was because I was still a kid and did not really care about the movie, but I know the action scenes came out to be very popular. Now, after watching it again, I finally understood the movie. I know that the movie could be very confusing if I did not pay attention so I tried my best to follow along without getting distracted (checking my phone and such). My favorite scene was the pill scene because I think that some people can relate to what Neo said when he did not believe in faith because he did not like the fact that he did not have any control of his life. When I watched this scene, I took that scene and relate it to life. Many people would love to stay in wonderland and not worry about the struggles in reality, and some would prefer to live outside of the wonderland and live in reality. When Neo was offered to choose between the red and blue pill, it reminded me of Mr. Nobody because that part was about making life decisions and there’s no turning back. A lot of people struggle with dilemmas in their life where they have to make decisions and stick with it. It is hard to choose, but at the end of the whole overthinking process of what the outcome of each path could be, we still need to choose.


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