2001 or the matirx
#21
Quote:Originally posted by Bailey 1729
RobRoy, I wrote down the list of the kind of things I was thinking about after seeing The Matrix in order to illustrate the impact it had on me, which apparently was quite different than your own experience! The SF world presented in the movie (it seemed to me) was a relatively hard SF world, with AIs that potentially could have evolved from technology existing today. The main plot seemed to be one of freeing humanity from the prison of the matrix constructed by the machines. In order to do this, it was necessary to find "The One", who would have power within the matrix to defeat the machines. The SF world presented seemed to me to have quite a number of holes, logical inconsistencies, some of which I've already discussed. Because I liked the story so much, I found myself trying to imagine ways in which these could be fixed. Prior to Neo's concluding speech, my take on "The One" was that he would be a liberator, freeing the humans from their artificial world, free once again to live in the real world.

Granted. I can see how this could side on the tally of ranking The Matrix as less superior than 2001. The counter to this would be to say that since the technology is part of science fiction, based in part on currently available hard science and hard science that has yet to be created (or could never be created) then the argument is moot.

Quote:For whatever reason, if there were parts of the movie that implied that this liberator had messianic attributes, power to free humans not only from the machines but also to free them from the basic human conditions of ignorance and suffering, well all I can say is somehow I missed those parts!

Really? Interesting. I'm not overly religious, perhaps not even spiritual, but I thought that the messianic attributes were pretty plain, perhaps even pushed to some extent. I'll run down a list, and see if you don't agree:

1- At the begining of the movie, Choi, who received the CD from Neo after the "Follow the white rabbit" sequence on Neo's computer screen says, "Hallelujah. You're my saviour, man. My own personal Jesus Christ."

2- There are three interactive parts that come together to create the whole, a Trinity of Morpheus, Neo and . . . well, Trinity. There are also many times that three digits or the number three appears in the movie.

3- Neo is an anagram of One.

4- Neo's first name is Thomas, and for the first 3/4 of the movie he is a doubter of himself, everything he is told and his own role in it all. Saint Thomas the Apostle was given the moniker of Doubting Thomas for his role after Jesus' death.

5- Neo's last name is Anderson, which is a play on the "Son of Man", another name for Jesus. 'Ander' comes from the New Testament Greek root "andros" which means man.

6- When Neo is metting with the Oracle you can hear Duke Ellington's "I'm begining to See the Light". Jesus was "The Light of the World.

7- Neo comes from a "virgin" birth. He never had a mother, but was somehow created by the machines.

8- Morpheus was prophesied to find the One, just as John the Baptist prepared the way and first noted Jesus as the One.

9- Jesus called Peter and Andrew to him, two brothers. There are also two brothers among the crew of the Nebuchadnezer.

10- Both Neo and Jesus' death are prophesied. The Oracle, as we've already discussed said that New was waiting for something. When asked by Neo what this was, she said, "Your next life, maybe."

11- Neo sacrifices himself for humanity in saving Morpheus and then dying, just as Jesus was sent to sacrifice himself for humanity. If Morpheus hadn't been freed, the codes to Zion would have been devulged, and that would have been the end of humanity (in this movie).

12- Neo and Jesus both died and were ressurected.

13- Jesus and Neo both had more vast powers post-resurrection.

14- Both Jesus and Neo asscend. Jesus was lifted bodily into Heaven, and Neo flies upward at the end of the movie.

15- Both Jesus and Neo are betrayed by a member of their inner group. Cypher can also be considered an allusion to Angel Heart in which Robert De Niro played the devil, going by the name of Louis Cypher (saying the two names close together you get the phonetic Lucifer).

Quote:You are absolutely right that postulating advanced beings that have evolved so far beyond humanity that we can't understand them is a kind of cop out - if we can't understand them then that's pretty much the end of the discussion. On the other hand the existence of such beings seems to make sense based on the observed evolution of beings with increased powers of reasoning, understanding, and control over their environment, and the inability of beings in one class to understand beings in a different class. This is of course the premise of 2001 (this is quite a large premise; therefore the SF world of 2001 is a much softer, MUCH more speculative, SF world than that of The Matrix). It's quickly established as the premise near the beginning, then man evolves and develops to the point where there is a manned lunar base, the monolith is discovered, an expedition is sent to Jupiter ... apparently this is what the monolith creators had been waiting for, for man to develop to this point. At this point they once again take some direct action, but what happens to Dave cannot be described in words, hence the light show and other effects, hinting at something transcendent. Unlike The Matrix, there are no logical inconsistencies or holes in the movie, all the space travel and so on is totally realistic, if one accepts the premise of advanced beings that created the monoliths and are beyond human comprehension ... OK I admit that's a really big if, but it's the premise of the movie! Like The Matrix, the conclusion is open ended. Unlike The Matrix, there is no speech. The potential future of humanity at this key point is left entirely to the imagination of the viewer.

I like this argument, it's the most solid of anything we've uncovered yet. Thanks!

Quote:RobRoy, I have to admit I'm getting a little tired ... I doubt if I can think of much more to say! Are you still in the mode of (quoting you from earlier): "I'm going to take the position (for the efforts of debate only) that The Matrix was/is superior to 2001"? If so, I would be interested in hearing what you really think, without regard to positions taken only for purposes of debate.

I'm sorry, that wasn't my intention, but I know that sometimes I can push the boundries of arguing for it's own sake. That is, in part, what I was doing with this, because I wanted to see where it led us.

My opinion is not that The Matrix is a superior movie. I still feel, as I said in the begining that, that the reason it was ranked higher is because of its recent release. It is fresh on people's minds, whereas the impressiveness of 2001 is now often taken for granted, and vastly overlooked.

I do, however, now feel that The Matrix is a justifiably one of the better science fiction movies of all time, given the arguments above. I would like to see more arguments along this line, to see if my reasoning is justifiable. But I do believe that your arguments ate quite correct regarding the overall and underscored meanings of 2001.

Interestingly, though, I'm now a little more shaky on my perceptions of 2001 in regards to the 'alien as catalyst' factor. Though this concept is repeated in other science fiction movies, pre and post, so perhaps I'm not that shaky.
All your base are belong to us.

It could be that the purpose of my life is only to serve as a warning to others.
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#22
RobRoy,

I was aware that The Matrix was full of symbolism. The only ones that I picked up by myself (first time I saw the movie) were Neo as an anagram of One and the Trinity reference. I think I remember seeing most of the others on your list (?) at some matrix web site somewhere or another at some later point. It also seemed to me that the movie was very heavy on Buddhist symbolism (the "real" world of the unenlightened being a world clouded by delusion; the necessity for death - death of the ego - in order to reach enlightenment; that kind of thing). It was never clear to me how all this heavy symbolism advanced the plot, so I tended to ignore it. Also I found the idea of a Savior gunning down people while turning cartwheels sort of bizarre.

In any case, thank you for an enjoyable discussion! Also, I forgot to thank you for finding the line in the movie about fusion power that I couldn't remember - thanks!

- Bailey
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#23
Quote:Originally posted by Bailey 1729
RobRoy,

I was aware that The Matrix was full of symbolism. The only ones that I picked up by myself (first time I saw the movie) were Neo as an anagram of One and the Trinity reference. I think I remember seeing most of the others on your list (?) at some matrix web site somewhere or another at some later point.

I'm sure there are any number of sites that list out this stuff. It's pretty blatant, in my opinion, but then I was raised heavily Catholic and did no few turns in philosophy and sociology of religion classes.

Quote:It also seemed to me that the movie was very heavy on Buddhist symbolism (the "real" world of the unenlightened being a world clouded by delusion; the necessity for death - death of the ego - in order to reach enlightenment; that kind of thing). It was never clear to me how all this heavy symbolism advanced the plot, so I tended to ignore it.

Agreed, as well as there being any number of other religions, some gnosticism, Taoism, Hinduism, etc. They drew from a number of sources to provide a kind of Everymessiah, if I may be allowed to coin the term.

Quote:Also I found the idea of a Savior gunning down people while turning cartwheels sort of bizarre.

Well, Neo wouldn't be just one messiah, but would be a messiah for all peoples. But yes, I agree. Still, the counter on this would be that the needs of the many outweight the needs of the few. There is a kind of release from imprisonment in such a way . . . but then again, I tend to side with you on that.

Quote:In any case, thank you for an enjoyable discussion! Also, I forgot to thank you for finding the line in the movie about fusion power that I couldn't remember - thanks!


No worries, that's what I do here. Thanks for your participation. It was looking for a while like no one would take up the guantlet and then I wouldn't get the answers I wanted.
All your base are belong to us.

It could be that the purpose of my life is only to serve as a warning to others.
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#24
Some old Matrix (Matrix I only) vs 2001 discussion.

My position: 2001 is great SF; The Matrix is terrible (as SF) but is repairable.

RobRoy's postition: see above.

Postscript: it occurred to me at some point that the occurrence of all the heavy (and to me, irrelevant, in terms of advancing the story - see above) symbolism in The Matrix could be explained (in the context of the story) as manipulation of the virtual reality by the AIs, in particular by the Oracle, in order to achieve certain ends (more repair work to try and turn it from fantasy or religious allegory into SF).
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