Between illusion and reality. The Wachowski Brothers' Matrix as cinematic critique of the digital world. Beiträge zur Medienästhetik und Mediengeschichte Bd. 14. Lit Verlag 2002.

„I saw ‚The Matrix' on pay-per-view and I thought that the movie was outstanding, the sound effects are cool, and the graphics are awesome.
After I saw ‚The Matrix', I began to think that we live in a Matrix. I tell myself every day that we live in a Matrix and I always tell my friends that we live in a Matrix. If we do, Morpheas, I am ready to be unplugged."

reader's letter by Lyle Oates, 6th class, Maynard School, Cambridge, Mass. USA. The Boston Globe, 3rd Jannuary 2000, C12.

table of content (German, PDF-file 12 KB)


According to Time Magazine (6th March 2000). 'The Matrix' should have won the Oscar for best movie, but it was not even nominated. Philosopher Peter Sloterdijk called 'The Matrix' the only philosophically relevant movie of 1999. A symposium titled 'inside THE MATRIX - a critic of cynical virtual reality' was held in Karlsruhe; and a seminar was held at the University of Washington on 'The Philosophy of The Matrix'. In Germany, The Matrix was the most successful Warner Bros. movie of the year (4,2 million viewers), just behind 20th Century Fox's 'Star Wars - Episode I' (6,5 million viewers). With two Matrix sequels in the works and lots of active fan sites on the Internet, it seems that the film's status as an authentic Cult Movie is secure.
But why is the Matrix so fascinating? The theme in this movie is not new. Human beings' coming to be ruled over by intelligent machines is a venerable and popular theme of science fiction. What is new with The Matrix is 'how'. And this refers to more than special effects. For in movie it is not some other world that is merely apparent but the very bedrock that we call Reality. This thesis explores the large theme of human slavery in a digital world of appearance and the possibility of liberation. The Matrix recounts the journey of a hero who gradually achieves self-recognition and is thereby able to liberate others ...