Write three reviews and reflections on three discussions. Each 300-400 words.

The requirements of the first one are as follows, and those of the second and third articles will be sent by word document.

The Matrix was the sci-fi blockbuster film trilogy of the late 1990s – early 2000s about the complex, symbiotic relationship between humans and machines. It is also known for it’s neo-noir cyberpunk film aesthetic and its implementation of “bullet-time” and incorporation of martial arts thru fight choreographer Yuen Wo-ping ( who also directed the fight scenes in Kill Bill, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon)

http://www.netflix.com/title/20557937

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3&v=D4eJx-0g3Do&feature=emb_logo

Here are some guiding thoughts specifically for this class.

1. This film is a precursor to themes we will talk about in Unit 3 – “crossing boundaries,” asking the viewers to question the reality in which we live and imagine a world of different possibilities. Neo, the main character played by Keanu Reeves, leaves his job in corporate America, chased by a team of white Agents in sunglasses and joins a multicultural team of revolutionaries led by charismatic Black leaders to defeat their oppressors.

Actor Keanu Reeves is a multi-racial Asian American (his paternal grandmother is Chinese & Hawaiian) who could be considered “racially ambiguous,” difficult to be identified and categorized into a certain race. He is clearly “not white” like the Agents, but he is also “not Black” like Morpheus, and yet he is the purported savior of this world, “the One.” I would argue that ever since his casting in The Matrix, Keanu Reeves has become Asian American in various ways. Like Lucy Liu, he has been cast in many action films that require martial arts training, and even directed his own martial arts film (Man of Tai Chi (2013) available on Netflix (Links to an external site.)) Also, Ali Wong specifically wanted Keanu Reeves as a love interest in Always Be My Maybe to claim him as an Asian American heartthrob! (Links to an external site.)

In terms of border crossing, it is also important to mention that some time after the production of the Matrix trilogy, both of the Wachowski directors came out as transgender, and I found this great quote on Wikipedia: “After Lilly Wachowski came out as transgender, she encouraged looking back on her and Lana’s works “through the lens of our transness”, saying that the themes of identity, self-image and transformation are apparent in The Matrix, which is “about one person’s struggle with and eventual acceptance of an identity that exists beyond the borders of a rigidly defined system””

2. The Matrix films delve into some “techno-orientalist” futures, a la Blade Runner (also currently on Netflix (Links to an external site.)) showcasing mysterious cityscapes with Asian aesthetics, futures peopled by non-whites that are strange and mysterious – different – and somewhat frightening. Just like our conversations about your cell phone use and the power of Science Fiction in Twilight Zone, here we see how Science Fiction films can parallel issues in our real world.

Please comment about anything you would like about The Matrix and Keanu Reeves.


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