Reality and Hyperreality in Cinema

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					Reality and Hyperreality in Cinema

       A Case Study of Matrix
          Table of Contents
1) The Matrix as an Allegory
2) Simulation and Simulacra
3) Visual Images as Simulacra
The Matrix as an Allegory

             • The Matrix (1999)
             • Written and
               Directed by Andy
               and Larry
The Matrix as an Allegory
           • A short synopsis
           • Computer hacker
             Thomas Anderson has
             lived a relatively
             ordinary life until he is
             contacted by the
             enigmatic person called
             Morpheus who leads
             him into the REAL
The Matrix as an Allegory
          Morpheus makes Anderson
          realise that the world around
          him is a computer simulation,
          a false version of twentieth-
          century life (exactly speaking
          1999) named the “Matrix”
          and the REAL world (of
          has been laid waste and taken
          over by advanced artificial
          intelligence machines.
The Matrix as an Allegory
           The computers have
           created the “Matrix” to
           keep the human slaves
           satisfied, while the AI
           machines draw power
           from the humans.
The Matrix as an Allegory
             Morpheus and other
             rebel warriors are
             constantly pursued by
             the police or "Agents"
             (computers who take on
             human form and
             infiltrate the Matrix),
             while struggling to
             overthrow the Matrix.
The Matrix as an Allegory
           • The Truman Show
             (1998) written by
             Andrew Niccol and
             directed by Peter Weir
           • The hero’s home town
             and the surrounding area
             is the world’s largest
             soundstage (television
The Matrix as Allegory
          • Dark City (1998)
            written and directed by
            Alex Proyas
          • The decrepit urban
            labyrinth is eventually
            revealed to have been
            built by aliens for
            observing human
The Matrix as an Allegory
           • The Thirteenth Floor
             (1999) written and
             directed by Josef
           • One of the scientists
             perfecting a sim-city
             realizes slowly that he
             himself, and everything
             he knows exists merely
             as part of another sim.
         The Matrix as an Allegory

• Sim City is a city building simulation game, first
  released in 1989 and designed by Will Wright.
        The Matrix as an Allegory

                   • Allegory

• The war between machine and man
• (The possibility that) Reality is a hoax and
• Our anxiety about what our relationship to the
  real should be, or what our relationship to the
  fake should be.
     Simulation and Simulacra
• One of the keys to understand the
  allegorical meanings of The Matrix

• A brief shot of a book, Jean Baudrillard’s
  Simulacra and Simulation
     Simulation and Simulacra
• To dissimulate – to feign (or pretend) not to
  have what one has.
• To simulate – to feign (or pretend) to have
  what one does not have (there is nothing)
• "to simulate is not simply to feign...feigning
  or dissimulation leaves the reality
  intact...whereas simulation threatens the
  difference between 'true' and 'false,'
  between 'real' and 'imaginary' (Baudrillard,
  p. 5)
     Simulation and Simulacra

• Simulacrum = what is simulated; a copy of
  reality which has already lost its originality
  and meaning
• Simulacrum = an empty sign which refers to
  only itself and is devoid of meaning and
• Our reality itself is made of simulacra
     Simulation and Simulacra
• There is nothing which is not simulated in
  our reality - postmodern reality.
• Present-day simulators make the real
  coincide with their simulation models.
• Images - films, TV, photographs, computers,
• Copies, replicas, models
        Simulation and Simulacra

"Disneyland is presented as imaginary in
order to make us believe that the rest is real,
when in fact Los Angeles and the America
surrounding it are no longer real, but of the
order of the hyperreal and of simulation" (25).
       Visual Images as Simulacra

• What The Matrix shows us is the reality like
  ours which consists entirely of simulated and
  mediated people and objects - hyperreal objects.
• The Matrix present a simulated reality which is
  more real than our reality. But how …
    Visual Images as Simulacra

• Digital image surroundings
• Videogames: The Matrix deploys digital
  effects in a way resonant for gamers
• Whether one played on a PC or a platform
  like PlayStation or X-box, videogame
  images are all digitally coded.
       Visual Images as Simulacra

• We are surrounded
  by digitally created
  images: video game
  and computer game
• Wire fighting effects
• example
 Visual Images as Simulacra

• Immersion effects (effects which make you
  completely absorbed in the film) You leave your
  reality for a moment and are absorbed in another
  reality. Made possible by digital effects: digital
• Wire-fighting choreographed by legendary Hong
  Kong choreographer/director Yuen Wo Ping (Yuen
Visual Images as Simulacra
             • Jackie Chen films
             • The Matrix
             • Crouching Tiger and
               Hidden Dragon
             • Kill Bill (2003)
    Visual Images as Simulacra

• Bullet time = a computer enhanced, extreme
  slow-motion effects
• It is thrilling, and filled with visual pleasure,
  and designed to surround one’s
  consciousness utterly. Matrix, Trinity

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