When I film something, I try to be one of two possible choices, to be completely simetrical in every sense or just put all the information in one of the four corners, now I'm not going to compare myself to the Wachowski brothers, Andy and Lana, because they made one of the most entertaining trilogies in some time compared only to the Back to the Future saga (in quality).
The 2nd and 3rd MATRIX films are quite good, in spite of their reputation. The 3rd has about a 45-minute stretch of pure forward momentum...When I saw RELOADED in the theater eight years ago, I hated it (and skipped REVOLUTIONS), but after revisiting them recently it's clear they look forward to SPEED RACER, which is just flat-out great.The new one sounds intriguing to say the least.And the duo is co-directing an adaptation of CLOUD ATLAS with Tom Tykwer.A case could be made for the first MATRIX as a film of/about talking - how the real is rooted in language instead of the other way around.
Jaime (Grijalba),I haven't really tried to film much myself. There are many styles and styles of composition that I like. Seeing so much without creating oneself makes it hard to have one's own 'voice' and vision. In this respect,watching films simultaneously opens the mind and clutters it.I think Reloaded is better than the first and Revolutions the best of the lot. I think the Back to the Future Trilogy, on the other hand, gets worse as it goes along.
Jaime (Christley),For me Revolutions is the finest Matrix film. It is full of very strong images. It is epic emotionally and physically and its mythical/religious allusions are well-integrated, buttressing the heft of the story.Speed Racer impressed me (visually) at first and then slowly started to tire me. It feels rather 2-dimensional and empty after a while, I think. The Wachowski brothers can certainly create a striking look for their films.I've just looked up Cloud Atlas and it sounds intriguing. I like Tom Tykwer's films too - another director who can keep a film visually compelling."A case could be made for the first MATRIX as a film of/about talking - how the real is rooted in language instead of the other way around."Perhaps. I'll have to think about that. Thanks for the comment.
Correction: Well integrated rather than "well-integrated".
More than anything, these compositions for me reveal the tremendous influence Lucas had on the Wachowskis. But that's always been pretty obvious. You could do a similar study of symmetry in the SW trilogies, as well.Jaime G: We know what "signs of symmetry" lead to, eh? BROTHER!!!Frankly, I think that the "Matrix" sequels are good, but suffer the same problem as the BTTF sequels, as they have too much insular connection with one another that isn't shared by the original. Almost all the subplots of "Reloaded" and "Revolutions" are disconnected from the original, a bit like the "Nobody but nobody calls me a chicken!" crap Marty McFly kept spouting off in II and III. In a narrative sense, they're oddly asymmetrical.
Bob,"More than anything, these compositions for me reveal the tremendous influence Lucas had on the Wachowskis. But that's always been pretty obvious. You could do a similar study of symmetry in the SW trilogies, as well."I've never noticed a similarity actually. I'd never noticed a lot of symmetrical compositions in Star Wars. I was looking through The Matrix Revolutions for a completely different reason and it just struck me how frequent these compositions are. I left a few out too.
I've always seen a SW connection, back to those cockpit shots from behind the crew of the Nebuchadnezzar, which so closely resembled the same kinds of shots in the Millenium Falcon. Add to that the fact that so much of the ground covered in the "Matrix" movies is following the same archetypal templates of myths and generational sci-fi that "Star Wars" was (space opera & samurai movies for Lucas, anime & kung-fu flicks for the Wachowskis), and it's just plain impossible for me to see that trilogy as anything other than something which owes a great deal of its success to what came before. Mind you, I'm saying that as a compliment-- the "Matrix" movies are pretty much the closest thing cinema has seen the second-coming of "Star Wars" since... well... "Star Wars". I'd rank them way above even the bigger, more successful and critically acclaimed fare of LOTR, TDK and "Avatar". They're something special, and the fact that they have something in common with Lucas' stuff is to be expected. As for symmetry in SW, I'm sure I could pick out a dozen or more images to illustrate my point. Would you be interested?
Bob,"Add to that the fact that so much of the ground covered in the "Matrix" movies is following the same archetypal templates of myths and generational sci-fi that "Star Wars" was"Yes, I can see that."I'd rank them way above even the bigger, more successful and critically acclaimed fare of LOTR, TDK and "Avatar"."I think Matrix Revolutions is the most "special" (the others are good but no more for me) but still not at the same level of the Star Wars films."As for symmetry in SW, I'm sure I could pick out a dozen or more images to illustrate my point. Would you be interested?"Sure. That would be good.What caught my eye regarding symmetry in this film is that they aren't short-lived compositions. They linger for whole scenes sometimes. Therefore, much of the film's running time is spent in symmetrical set-ups.
Re: longer vs. short-lived compositions. In that regard, I can absolutely see your point. The Wachowskis linger on their staged compositions, whereas Lucas (and Kersh & Marquand) employed a lot more cutting, for a more kinetic feel. I wonder if the W's approach is more indebted to anime and manga, where the singular images have a great weight at times that you don't always have (or need) in live action-- the battle in the rain between Smith and Neo certainly reminded me a lot of "Dragon Ball Z". I don't think that "The Matrix" movies are quite on the level of "Star Wars" either, but they've come the closest of all, and that's worth something. I wish that they had saved the prequel story of "The Second Rennaisance" for a live-action movie instead of a mere short in the "Animatrix" collection-- granted, it's a great work by Mahiro Maeda (a guy who worked under Hideaki Anno during "Nadia" and "Evangelion" before doing "Blue Submarine No. 6" on his own), but that background story deserved more than just being parcelled out into the franchise merchandise.
"I wonder if the W's approach is more indebted to anime and manga, where the singular images have a great weight at times that you don't always have (or need) in live action"I've always considered The Matrix Revolutions to be one of the most, if not the most, like a comic book in terms of the striking and strong single image that can be impressive as a stand-alone work of art and say a lot in terms of story. You could remove quite a lot of the connecting movement between these images and lose little of the meaning.A comic, of course, is generally far less than 24 panels per second of action."...the battle in the rain between Smith and Neo certainly reminded me a lot of "Dragon Ball Z". "It reminded me of a fight in the rain in Nowhere to Hide.I saw The Animatrix but didn't pay too much attention to the story. For me, in fact, Revolutions is the only one of the trilogy in which I became emotionally invested. It's big and bold and most everything is at stake.
I'm afraid you've got me here Stephen. I'd need top research this film and perhaps even revisit it to give a commment of any worth, though I will say agin you have exhibited your customary creativity and variety with this screen cap show. I liked REVOLUTIONS more than the others in this franchise, and am happy to hear you are on the same wave-length.
Thank you Sam."I liked REVOLUTIONS more than the others in this franchise, and am happy to hear you are on the same wave-length."Me too.
Very nice collection, Stephen. The shots somehow seem extra symmetric when you take them out as screenshots!The Wachowski's are a creative force to reckon with, even if you hate their films. Yet to see RACER though.Cheers!
Thanks JAFB!"The shots somehow seem extra symmetric when you take them out as screenshots!"Yes. A little movement in the film itself can distract the eye. If you shout "freeze!" it becomes all the more obvious.Speed Racer's visual richness / sugariness / restlessness is impressive but can become a little dizzying or tiring after a while. It is different.
I agree on "Speed Racer". I like it very much, and respect what it stands for, philosophically and aesthetically. But at the same time, it's all rather overwhelming. It's rather like Coppola's "One From the Heart" in that sense.
Bob,"It's rather like Coppola's "One From the Heart" in that sense."This is pass the parcel for films we haven't seen. JAFB hasn't seen Speed Racer and I haven't seen One From the Heart