The first minutes go by unheeded because the seven o'clock outpouringstreams by where I post myself on the sidewalk. No signal is given. At amysterious order and at a given moment a black wave foams and contractsat the exit, and as in greeting to the open light sends up a thousandexclamations, which make one long cry of relief.
A marvel. Is it not a marvel An arch. Rising from the ground on eitherside, its loving, solid curve clasps both banks and brings them togetherin an embrace. Nevertheless they are like two convicts. Yet at one pointthey become a single bank; they touch, they merge. Then they go on,their bed widening out. In spite of appearances they are still closelyunited in order to sustain the deepening river which will place itsmouth on the mouth of the ocean.
A silky wind blows down from a sheltering eminence and carves his faceand makes me cling to him. Are we on the borders of the true silence,the ultimate silence in which human beings find themselves face to face\"You! You!\"
The first shot of the film is a blinking cursor, waiting for input. This cursor announces that there will be nothing to see, only a string of text operating at the level of the command line interface. This textual substrait of the image is referred to throughout, as the green and black of old-time computer screens imbue the image, in what can only be called \"raster-chic.\" Decoding this machine language, one would need a form of what Woody Vasulka calls \"machine semiotics,\" rather than Baudrillard or perhaps Lacan (whose Real is also quite different than that of The Matrix. However, there seems to be some subtle alliance between Lacan and Lewis Carroll or Jean Cocteau when Neo, before entering the \"real world\" will get covered and consumed by a mirror-like substance which, once he masters it, he consumes himself -- a Mˆbius strip-like rewrite of the \"Mirror Stage.\") The film's constant rain refers less to cloudbursts than to glitches at the level of this primary code, since it makes one think of the rain of data from the opening credits, The Matrix 's signature visualization of machine language. When a sprinkler system goes off inside the citadel of the agents, it seems less like it is extinguishing a fire, and more like it is extinguishing the image, as if data is malfunctioning to the extent that the system of false images will break down, allowing us to see the code. Even machine-gunned bullets hitting faux-marble columns seem more like disaggregated pixels than actual violence, a disturbance of in the image, a breaking through appearances to get at system knowledge. The true world of The Matrix, then, seems to be premised on a nostalgia for pre-interface computing. The dialog itself sounds like text-based VR (MOO or MUD-speak), a product of command-line computer culture, whose hackers and programmers -- indebted to Dungeon and Dragons -- live the world of flow-chart-like narrative choices: \"Don't go down that road,\" \"One of these lives has a future, the other does not,\" and the famous red pill/blue pill choice. Given the way the text-based interface is valorized in this film, Morpheus iconoclasm seems not merely to be directed toward the iconology of a slick pixelless interface, but toward cinema itself.
When Morpheus says \"Welcome to the real world,\" we are perhaps convinced, instead of any continuum, of the divisions between real and false that the film proffers. The whole color palette changes in the Nebuchadnezzar, from the raster-green to a more Calvin-Kleiny blue, grey, brown. In this way, the distinction is made between a world based purely on code (green/black) and one which, while hooked into the world of code, is exploiting the electromagnetic in a more industrial paradigm. Throughout, we get the sense that Morpheus isn't entirely right on, that he's like some 60s Marxist who has lost touch with the world but who is nevertheless groovy, so we suffer him when he says things like \"I'm here to free our mind.\" His insistence on the Nebuchadnezzar as the real world is perhaps just what Baudrillard calls a \"reality effect.\" There's always the even more \"real\" Zion, and at least one crew member (Cypher) mutines against Morpheus' concept of the real. Neo's messianic powers outright derive from a misreading or reinterpretation of Morpheus' teachings. While Morpheus' Mosaic dogma posits an outside of the system, Neo literally dives into the system by which he is enslaved (when he dives into the body of the agent); when he emerges at the other end, we are led to believe that the code is a reality that even the agents don't understand. Up to this point in the film, the green and black colors signify that the world is illusion, but paradoxically, when Neo sees the green and black code everywhere, he has attained true knowledge (one could say that, instead of approximating a Christian messiah, he is here a kind of super-Jew -- Christ without the reality principle of the break from Judaism, Christ without Christianity, Christ with Kabbala). Morpheus' battle is that of the typical man versus machine. Neo's affinity for the machine world unsettles the terms of this battle, and his colleagues marvel \"he's a machine.\" 59ce067264