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The Matrix by Joshua Clover

01/06/2009. Contributed by Geoff Willmetts

Buy The Matrix in the USA - or Buy The Matrix in the UK

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pub: BFI Publishing/Palgrave MacMillan. 95 page illustrated enlarged paperback. Price: 9.99(UK). ISBN: 978-1-84457-045-4.

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It's hard to believe that 'The Matrix' is now a decade old. Whatever anyone feels about its two sequels, the first film made everyone stand up to marvel at the use of both physical and computer effects and the way they were blended together. Certainly, it made an impression for its use of bullet-time.

Author Joshua Clover's 2004 book under the BFI cover, which I should hasten to add is under its second imprint here explores the digital haze of taking the red or blue pill to watching the lady in red walk past. It also examines whether the directors Wachowski brothers played up the depth of the film to take advantage of the DVD retentive to look in-depth at every last scene for anything they missed. He examines whether the selection of Carrie-Anne Moss was because she looked like a female version of Keanu Reeves to the selection of sunglasses as a fashion statement or being able to see the Matrix for what is is to the effect it had on the first DVD sales.

Hard to believe DVD players are a decade old, isn't it but 'The Matrix' pumped up their sales. Clover also spends considerable time comparing it to other earlier films, including 'Strange Days' to the point that I was left wondering if it shouldn't have a book of its own. Then again, most of his footnotes, albeit put at the back of the book, carry relevant points that will have your fingers permanently lodged there as you read.

For an eighty page book, there is a lot of content here to have you thinking plus a lot of pictures from the film that certainly haven't been there in most other publications as well. I came away from this book with a need to re-watch the film and I suspect a re-read of this book at a later date.

'The Matrix', taken on its own, is certainly a worthy Science Fiction film. The fact that it blends in computer gaming elements and draws in more people layered what we have today. Interestingly, bullet time has stayed with the trilogy which illustrates how much it was linked so others didn't go down this path. If you can't make a choice between the red and blue pills then read this book.

GF Willmetts

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This book has 89 votes in the sci-fi charts

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