Building on from the ideas posed by Guy Debord in terms of the ‘Society of the Spectacle’, the theme of control and living in a fully mediated world is a fascinating concept; albeit one that has been reproduced a number of times. For example, The Matrix (1999) and its two sequels The Matrix Reloaded (2003) and The Matrix Revolutions (2003), directed by The Wachowskis, all borrowed heavily from key theorist Jean Baudrillard in terms of spectacle, and even used direct quotes from him throughout the films. One quote that perhaps sums up The Matrix the most is taken from Baudrillard’s book Simulations, where Baudrillard writes: “Illusion is no longer possible, because the real is no longer possible.” (Baudrillard, 1983:38). This again harkens back to Debord’s argument that the world is controlled and constructed by media images, thus creating a false reality based around icons and mediated living. This was again reinforced by Baudrillard on ‘Simulacra’, which also theorised about the same issues. The first Matrix film was and still is a spectacle in many terms of the word. It showcased groundbreaking special effects and action choreography that still holds up well today from a visual standpoint, yet also deals with complex themes of control, reality and the human condition. After watching The Matrix once again and reading into the themes, this element of a virtual and false-reality world is a fascinating concept, and one that everyone can be aware of.
Baudrillard, J. (1983) Simulations. New York: Semiotext(e) Inc.
The Matrix. 1999. [film] United States: The Wachowski Brothers.
The Matrix Reloaded. 2003. [film] United States: The Wachowski Brothers.
The Matrix Revolutions. 2003. [film] United States: The Wachowski Brothers.
Unknown. 2012. Heavy Rain – Hassan’s Shop – Gameplay Available at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ee4sQispHQ : [26 Oct 2013].
Unknown. 2009. “The Matrix” (1999) — ‘Construct’ Scenes Available at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGZiLMGdCE0 : [26 Oct 2013].