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Jacking in to the Matrix Franchise : Cultural Reception and Interpretation - Matthew Wilhelm Kapell

Jacking in to the Matrix Franchise

Cultural Reception and Interpretation

By: Matthew Wilhelm Kapell (Editor), William G. Doty (Editor)

Paperback Published: 9th September 2004
ISBN: 9780826415882
Number Of Pages: 215

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Few media franchises can match The Matrix for enthusiasm of reception and subsequent proliferation. Who in 1999 could have imagined that the momentum of a single film would sustain two more major theatrical releases in a single year, a collection of nine anime cartoons, a best-selling computer game, and more websites than can be counted? Jacking in To The Matrix Trilogy will be the first academic study to take an in-depth look at all of these products, providing a coherent overview of the franchise as a whole. The Matrix films are rich with mythological and religious references, as well as drawing upon futuristic fiction. Such richness demands a variety of skills in decoding and interpreting it, and the array of talent in this volume will lay bare many of the strands that have given the Matrix creations such a sense of magic. The book gathers original articles that comment on the cultural and religious implications of The Matrix trilogy, its place within the cyberworlds of contemporary literature and philosophy, and its portrayals of gender and race. The volume also makes conjectures about the ethical and social consequences of taking either the red or the blue pill. Jacking In To The Matrix Trilogy will be of interest across a huge range of academic disciplines including philosophy, pop culture studies, film studies, and sociology of religion.

Any book under the editorial leadership of Professor William Doty is an event. His authority insures that the articles have intellectual density and academic weight. Yet, what is much rarer in this kind of publication, is a style that will captivate anybody interested in understanding how we experience and interpret films. The discussion is fascinating, the ideas fresh, the bibliographies precious. The title: Jacking into the Matrix Franchise: Cultural Reception and Interpretation, is too restrictive as it may appear like it is only addressed to fans of the Matrix films (of which I am not). But the collection of articles offers much more: it is a grand tour of all the subjects that matter in film studies: gender and degenderization, race and multiraciality, evolving and contradictory definitions of male and female heroism, religious symbolism in an entertainment culture, hidden agendas and embedded political values, postmodern deconstruction and reconstruction of hope, archetypal characters showing up unannounced, the opposition of an old in the new market of spiritual values and more I am one of those who, twenty some years ago, immensely enjoyed Baudrillard s Simulacra and Simulation (1981). Doty and Kapell s collection of articles are the best update on the subject I have read since. I am ready to bet my copy of Bound (another Wachowski brother s movie), that Doty and Kapell s collection of articles will become a classic in film studies. I think of Bound as the best film ever made about trust (as well as a superb thriller); it did not attract the fame of the Matrix, and reading Jacking into the matrix Franchise help me understand why. - Ginette Paris, PhD. Pacifica Graduate Institute, Spring Journal 2004

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
About the Contributorsp. xi
Introduction
"The Deeper We Go, the More Complex and Sophisticated the Franchise Seems, and the Dizzier We Feel." Issues treated in this volume; contexts of looking at the franchisep. 1
Jacking In to Issues of Gender and Race
"Welcome to the Sexual Spectacle: The Female Heroes in the Franchise." Perhaps it is time for a retelling of heroic mythology that does not masculinize the female herop. 14
"Is Neo White? Reading Race, Watching the Trilogy." Ignoring the racial message of the franchise only reinforces old abuses of powerp. 32
Cultural and Religious Implications
"Religion, Community, and Revitalization: Why Cinematic Myth Resonates." The roles of religious symbolism in an entertainment culturep. 48
"Story, Product, Franchise: Images of Postmodern Cinema." A postmodernist redemption myth with a control-freak messianic herop. 65
"Fascist Redemption or Democratic Hope?" Embedded political values smack largely of American fascismp. 80
"Stopping Bullets: Constructions of Bliss and Problems of Violence." The various religious themes do not overcome a reliance upon violent meansp. 97
Theorizing Cyberworlds
"The Deja vu Glitch in the Matrix Trilogy." Literal versus ironic readings of the "reality" of our matrixp. 115
"Visions of Hope, Freedom of Choice, and the Alleviation of Social Misery: A Pragmatic Reading of the Matrix Franchise." This is neither a "postmodern" or "modern" franchise, but one that hopes for a better future for allp. 125
"Biomorph: The Posthuman Thing." Machine plus human plus computer software: things, they are a-changingp. 141
The Games and Ethics of Simulation
"Strange Volutions: The Matrix Franchise as a Post-Human Memento Mori." Lessons about free will and choice in the new theater of "dynamic cinema"p. 158
"Try the Blue Pill: What's Wrong with Life in a Simulation?" The choice of the blue pill satisfies philosophical teachingsp. 169
Conclusion
"At the Edge of the World, Again." From Star Wars to the newest franchise using many more mediations. Perhaps it is an allegory of a new aestheticp. 183
Getting with the Program/s of the Franchise--Users' Information
List of items in the franchise, with abbreviations used in this bookp. 189
Glossary of names and terms in the franchisep. 190
Useful Internet sitesp. 200
Recommended bibliographyp. 201
Indexp. 203
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780826415882
ISBN-10: 0826415881
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 215
Published: 9th September 2004
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.81 x 15.95  x 1.45
Weight (kg): 0.38
Edition Number: 1

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