The Matrix
The Wachowskis’ film, The Matrix (1999), set new standards in the use of computer driven special effects in film, and offered an enduringly tangible representation of a simulated world run by an artificial intelligence.

Dreams play an integral part in our perception of consciousness. At its furthest extension, the world of dreams opens the door to the possibility that the world we experience is itself a dream. The Matrix takes this ancient narrative and turns it toward the world of artificial intelligence. What if our lives are nothing more than a highly effective virtual reality seamlessly rendered by a very powerful computer? Once again, the narrative of an all-controlling artificial intelligence challenges our complacency and demands vigilance over the machine.

The special effects in The Matrix are legendary. By using complex virtual cinematography to choreograph the real camera movements, they were able to achieve new and compelling camera angles that give the film its otherworldliness. And give us yet another instance of the virtual world seizing control of the real world.

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The Wachowskis (Lana Wachowski and Lilly Wachowski), The Matrix (excerpts), 1999, film transferred to digital video,, Warner Bros.