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Author Topic: Matrix Revolutions  (Read 8560 times) Average Rating: 0
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arimethea
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« Reply #45 on: November 10, 2003, 12:01:57 PM »

Serge,

Quote
this concept/belief is the exclusive property of Eastern Orthodoxy?

I am not sure if I understand this question.

My post was showing how you can use the Matrix in a retreat setting to help teenegers understand the Orthodox theology of the death and resurection of Christ. While the Orthodox understanding of the decent into Hades and how the devil was defeated is the traditional christian understanding, there are many who claim to be christian who don't even know about this or would not believe it.

I hope I made myself clearer.
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« Reply #46 on: November 10, 2003, 12:09:35 PM »

Well, the Russians did discover Alaska, which is the largest state in the United States. Smiley
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« Reply #47 on: November 10, 2003, 12:35:28 PM »

My point, arimethea, is that while of course Eastern Orthodoxy teaches what you describe, so does every other Christian group.
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« Reply #48 on: November 10, 2003, 05:28:41 PM »

Come on guys, its just a movie! Sometimes (I see this with the LOTR books/movies) I think even honest, orthodox believers can read too much into something.

Seriously, I have a problem with whole trilogy-and a problem with modern Science Fiction. While I originally thought the first movie was original, I quickly thought otherwise. The problem is that I don't think Hollywood can make a SF movie that deals with a positive human future-a non-apocalyptic world in which humans aren't enslaved/destroyed by aliens, apes, diseases or superintelligent computers-been there, done that:

Planet of the Apes
Beneath the Planet of the Apes
Battle for the Planet of the Apes
Return to the Planet of the Apes
Soylent Green
Logan's Run
Terminator
Terminator 3
A.I.
28 Days
The Matrix
The Matrix Revolutions
The Matrix Reloaded
12 Monkeys
Waterworld
The Postman
Blade Runner
Titan A.E.
remake of Planet of the Apes

A while ago Keble used a word-I can't remember it, in
a similar situation describing why he wouldn't watch Reloaded-I can only vaguely remember the post though. I think the only movie/franchise to actually have a semi-positive future for humanity has to be the much maligned Star Trek (maybe too rosy a future), i.e. a future that doesn't want to make you die well before old age.

I think this says something about the moral problems facing Hollywood, and the people who so eagerly watch the movies.

Boswell
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« Reply #49 on: November 10, 2003, 05:38:35 PM »

Aww come on I liked the original 5 Planet of the Apes! Smiley

Take Care!
Innocent

P.S. You forgot Conquest of the Planet of the Apes.
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« Reply #50 on: November 10, 2003, 05:56:25 PM »

Here's a copy of what Khouria Frederica Mathewes-Green wrote about the Matrix in "Christianity Today:"

Speaking Out: Desert of the Real?
The world of The Matrix is wrong: Creation really is beautiful.
By Frederica Mathewes-Green | posted 05/12/2003

If you can read this, you're probably not waiting in line at a movie theater. If you don't know why people might be waiting in line at a movie theater, you need to come out of that fallout shelter. Fans have been anxiously anticipating the release of The Matrix Reloaded ever since the house lights came up at the end of 1999's blockbuster, The Matrix.

The Matrix is surely the most overanalyzed movie since they invented Christian film critics. Type Matrix and Christian into a search engine and you'll come up with 13 pages of books and college seminars, youth group studies and evangelism strategies. The Christian themes in the film are so obvious that even nonbelievers can spot them across the room. A site that offers free essays to kids who cheat on their homework includes one with this title: "Christian Themes in the Matrix."

What are those themes? That this world is in the power of an evil force. It devours humans, while keeping them distracted with material pleasures. A small band of brave humans know the truth, and seek to free the race from destruction. Neo, "the One," is clearly the savior. (This role is a bit of heavy lifting for Reeves, who is not the most thoughtful of actors, but the first half of The Matrix is ideal for his talents. Reeves can be effortlessly convincing at portraying a confused person.) In the first film, Neo dies, rises from the dead, and rockets skyward making threats that sound more Terminator than Life-Giver. Neo is attended by Morpheus, who fills a John the Baptist role, and a brave young woman named Trinity. The underground camp of free humans is called Zion.

You get the picture. It's a mix of names and themes from many religious traditions, and hardly the screen equivalent of a Four Spiritual Laws tract. But the presence of any Christian resonances in a mainstream movie is so intoxicating to some Christians that they embraced it with glee.

But I believe there's one big flaw in the Matrix's theology. It's the idea that the beauty of creation is a deceptive lie, generated by evil forces. Real reality, the way Neo and the others discover it, is ugly, dirty, and gray. The temptation they must resist is the desire to return to the illusory world of flowers, birdsong, and sizzling steaks. Courageous humans instead must remain resolutely in their muddy realm, wearing their dingy clothes. (Not to be a pest, but if the struggling liberated humans can have clothes that are brown and gray, why can't they have clothes that are purple and green? And if they can whisk all around the time-space continuum, why can't they locate a Laundromat?)

It might occur to you that this actually sounds more like Hinduism than Christianity. Christians don't believe that this whole world is deceptive illusion (maya). We believe that it is created good—very good—and filled with the presence of God. "The heavens are telling the glory of God" (Ps 19:1). All creation reveals his presence. It isn't saying, "Look over there!" to keep us distracted from him.

In fact, the testimony of saints through the ages is that, the closer you draw to God, the more the beauty of reality unfolds. Puritan preacher Jonathan Edwards wrote that in prayer "God's excellency, his wisdom, his purity and love, seemed to appear in everything; in the sun, moon, and stars, in the clouds and blue sky; in the grass, flowers, trees, in the water, and all nature." Catholic poet Gerard Manley Hopkins wrote, "The world is charged with the grandeur of God; it will flame out like shining from shook foil." Quaker founder George Fox found that, after his conversion, the world smelt different.

The world that The Matrix presents as "real" is the phony one. It is made in the image of a vague romantic idea that "facing reality" means embracing grim, unpleasant truths, and beauty is a trap to distract us. But God clothed the lilies of the field in splendor, because it shows what he is like, and indicates what he has in mind for us too. Creation has not been made beautiful in order to distract us from uglier truths, but to awaken our desire for the one who himself is Truth. Reality is not opposed to beauty. Beauty is the secret of God's living, breathing presence in our midst.

original article at http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2003/119/11.0.html
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« Reply #51 on: November 10, 2003, 06:12:10 PM »

Two letters....

B.S.

Why do people overanalyze. It is just a movie! Who cares about the theme or any of the Christological or Gnostic notions. It's just a MOVIE.

Bobby
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« Reply #52 on: November 10, 2003, 06:17:55 PM »

Well, alot of those movies originally came from books but often are different: "Planet of the Apes"; "Soylent Green"= "Make Room, Make Room" by Harrison; "Logan's Run" by Nolan; "Blade Runner" = "Do Androids Dream of Electic Sheep" by Philip K. Dick with the title coming from a different story by another author; "The Postman" by David Brin.  

 As an extensive SF reader B.C. (before children.  I still read it now, but don't have as much reading time.) there are many Science Fiction novels that aren't distopias (though those are a popular sub-set) but just having a rosy future wouldn't have much story.  Even the Star Trek universe had conflict (Klingons, Romulans, Cardassians, the Dominion, plus smaller planets/groups/individuals).  But possibly movie studios look for "bad future" because that makes for conflict and therefore action, sort of like war movies and westerns and the like.  There is humourous SF, but the few SF/comedy movies have been, shall we say, not big bucks or big stars.

I have only seen about half of the first "Matrix" movie and, let me tell you, watching it while coming out of a combination stomach bug and migraine headache makes it even more surreal.  Shocked

Ebor
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« Reply #53 on: November 10, 2003, 08:51:18 PM »

"Why do people overanalyze. It is just a movie! Who cares about the theme or any of the Christological or Gnostic notions. It's just a MOVIE." - Redoc

Dear Russian Exiled Definitely Orthodox yadda yadda...

I thinks the reason we analyze, especially using Christian terms, is that:
1)  We like to think there is more than just superficial meaning to "the arts,"
2)  We believe that those who create art appreciate and adhere to point #1,
3)  We believe that many of the contemporary myths are written by those who have powerful beliefs and/or questions about religion (Christinaity esp.)

That being said, there's nothing wrong with kicking back and enjoying a movie on a superficial level, or analyzing the living snot out of something.  It seems to work on both levels!

David Wink
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« Reply #54 on: November 11, 2003, 01:12:43 AM »

Yeah, and what's with all the hubbub on the Zossima guy in The Brothers Karamazov...get a life people, it's JUST A NOVEL!!!









Cheesy
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« Reply #55 on: November 11, 2003, 01:41:43 AM »

Seriously, though, any form of artistic expression usually has some meaning behind the choices made by the creators.  Sometimes these meanings are very easy to spot, and sometimes they are obscured in a very gnostic like fog of unknowing.  I have seen several interesting discussions on this film and many others that can be very rewarding.  

As far as the Matrix's dystopian worldview, I do not agree with Boswell's statement about it being a sign of vacant morality by moviegoers or the Hollywood blockbuster factory.  God does not create illusions(maya in the Buddhist religion as noted by Khouria Frederica above), but we surely do.   I've pulled the wool over my own eyes many times in the past and as a sinful man am sure to do that again.  May God be merciful to his servants!

In a way, I think all of these dystopian films/novels have a very positive message.  We live in a fallen world and are fallen beings.  We can transfigure ourselves and the world around us, but this is done through following the will of God and self-denial, not in technological marvels.  I find a strange sense of comfort in the fact that humanity in these films keeps failing or narrowly avoiding destruction because of reliance on technology, politics, etc., and not God.  It seems similar to the many travails of the Israelites in the centuries preceeding the Incarnation.  We make idols, we put our trust in these idols, and surely enough we reap what we have sewn.  The interesting thing in the Matrix storyline is that the machines were peaceful servants of humans, but the humans grew fearful of the machines and engaged in "genocide".  The machines fought back, and that is how the world is how it is.  It's not like the Terminator storyline(or even 2001 for that matter) where we create a learning AI and it goes mad and decides to destory humanity, the bondage to the machines was started by the humans.  And when the machines were beginning to win the war that humanity started, the humans corrupted the atmosphere so sunlight would not penetrate to the planet's surface.  Goes back to that old quote, "I have seen the enemy and the enemy is myself."(or thereabouts -anyone know where that quote is from?)

Ultimately, in any work of art that is vague enough to have differing opinions, just about anyone can find support for their claims.  In a way, the Matrix is a quintessential film for this aspect as it combines elements from Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, pagan Greek and Roman religions, etc to form a synergistic worldview where "The One"  is really the many.  While you can get something out of these films(I surely did) that is not why they were created, IMHO.  The first and foremost reason is money, the second being the directors wish to provide an artsy action trilogy that brings anime to life and gets people to talk about their work.  I have to give them credit on succeeding with this.
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« Reply #56 on: November 11, 2003, 04:50:36 PM »

True, Ebor, the printed world of Science Fiction can be quite different than the Hollywood version. Obviously, though, the big screen reaches more people than (most) books, and can play a major role in people's perceptions.

Yeah, movies are a form of art, but I think the dystopian movies are a debased form, aside from the fact that they are, after all these years, so unoriginal. Like religion and science, I don't exactly see a conflict between religion and technology-that's just a red herring, imho.

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« Reply #57 on: November 11, 2003, 10:24:43 PM »

I don't see what the big deal with the Matrix movies is. I think they are pretty darn corny myself. Lord of the Rings is good though. Of course EVERYONE knows that the greatest film of all time is 2001: A Space Odyssey. Kubrick! Kubrick! Kubrick!

Athanasius

P.S. I like Kubrick.
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« Reply #58 on: November 12, 2003, 10:19:18 AM »

I like Kubrick too, but I'd have to say that I like Dr. Strangelove even better than 2001.  Smiley
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« Reply #59 on: November 13, 2003, 04:25:47 PM »

I have all of Kubrick's films on DVD. While I of course enjoyed Dr. Strangelove, it is actually more twoards the middle or bottom of the list as far as my favorite Kubrick films go. Here's a rough list:
1. 2001
2. Clockwork Orange
3. Shinning
4. Barry Lyndon
5. Eyes Wide Shut
6. Full Metal Jacket
7. Paths of Glory
8. The Killing
9. Dr. Strangelove
10. Lolita
11. Spartacus
12. Killer's Kiss

Athanasius
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« Reply #60 on: November 13, 2003, 10:35:59 PM »

Boswell,

You state: "Come on guys, its just a movie! Sometimes (I see this with the LOTR books/movies) I think even honest, orthodox believers can read too much into something."

With LOTR it is not "reading too much into it" but "getting out of it" exactly what the author intended.

Tolkien tell us that:

"The Lord of The Rings is of course a fundamentally religious and Catholic work, unconsciously at first, but consciously in the revision". Elsewhere he states "I am a Christian (which can be deduced from my stories), and in fact a Roman Catholic" (ibid.). In 1958 he wrote that The Lord of the Rings is "a tale, which is built on or out of certain ‘religious’ ideas, but is not an allegory of them."

Here is the article the above is from, very insightful:
http://www.ewtn.com/library/HUMANITY/JRRTOLK.HTM

I also recommend the new book: The Gospel According to Tolkein, Visions of the Kingdom in Middle-earth by Ralph C. Wood

In Christ,
Fr. Deacon Lance
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« Reply #61 on: November 20, 2003, 01:52:58 AM »

Athanasius,

I think you're taste in Kubrick is different than mine...my ranking(of those I have seen)

1. Dr. Strangelove
2. 2001
3. Paths of Glory
4. A Clockwork Orange
5. The Shining
6. Eyes Wide Shut
7. The Shining
8. Full Metal Jacket
9. A.I. Smiley

BTW, what other directors do you like?  I am a fan of Wes Anderson, Akira Kurosawa, Paul Thomas Anderson, and of course, Orson Welles.
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« Reply #62 on: November 20, 2003, 06:52:48 PM »

I love Kurosawa! That guy is great! My favorite films by him are Ran and The Hidden Fortress (very funny).
Hmmm... as far as specific directors, well I can't think of any who I like as much as Kubrick or Kurosawa though of course there are specific films by directors that I like as much as those two's work.
For example I thought Schindler's List was a great film but I don't necessarily think that Spielberg is therefore one of my favorites.

Athanasius
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« Reply #63 on: November 20, 2003, 07:03:09 PM »



1. Dr. Strangelove
2. 2001
3. Paths of Glory
4. A Clockwork Orange
5. The Shining
6. Eyes Wide Shut
7. The Shining
8. Full Metal Jacket
9. A.I. Smiley


you sure do like the shining, huh?  Wink
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« Reply #64 on: November 20, 2003, 08:13:24 PM »

Yeah! It sure is good!

Athanasius
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« Reply #65 on: November 21, 2003, 03:12:15 PM »

Well, Vicki, the thing about A Clockwork Orange is that that was exactly what Kubrick was trying to make you feel.  It is a cautionary tale, not a glorification of violence and evil as can be seen these days.  It takes things that are beautiful and good(Beethoven's 9th or The William Tell Overture anyone?) and shows how we pervert these things through fallen human nature.  It is not a movie I would reccomend to anyone, but it does powerfully make it's point, in much the same way that Hitler's propaganda films show us the horrors of that world.
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« Reply #66 on: November 21, 2003, 03:16:29 PM »


you sure do like the shining, huh?  Wink

Like probably wouldn't be the right term.  If A Clockwork Orange becomes more and more sickening, The Shining grows creepier by the moment.  Even from the music at the beginning as the family is driving to the hotel.  

Like him or not, Kubricks films are very powerful and hit you on an almost visceral level.   I am still trying to decide if that is a good thing or not.  To get back to the Matrix, these types of films can sometimes be the "red pill" that a person needs in order to see their own sinfulness.
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« Reply #67 on: November 21, 2003, 03:17:23 PM »

Athanasius,

Have you ever seen The Third Man directed by Carol Reed and starring Joseph Cotten and Orson Welles?  I think you would highly enjoy it.  It is one of my all time favorites.
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« Reply #68 on: November 25, 2003, 07:54:55 PM »

David,
Yes I have seen the Third Man, it is very very good. I love the photography, just amazing.

Athanasius
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