"Welcome to the Zion Archive. You have selected Historical File #12-1: The Second Renaissance.
So begins the short film of the same name by Mahiro Maeda [Flash: 1 2 - QuickTime: 1 2]
-- a devastating yet beautiful work of animation.
Originally produced to explain the backstory behind the Matrix
trilogy, Maeda's project ended up telling a story far darker and more affecting than any blockbuster.
Using a blend of faux documentary footage
and visual metaphor
, his serene Instructor relates in biblical tones the saga of Man and Machine, how age-old cruelty and hatred birthed a horrifying, apocalyptic struggle that consumed the world.
Packed with striking imagery and historical allusions
galore, this dark allegory easily transcends the films it was made for.
But while "The Second Renaissance" is arguably the best work to come from the Matrix
franchise, it's hardly alone -- it's just one of the projects made for The Animatrix
, a collection of nine superb anime films
in a wide variety of styles
designed to explore the universe and broaden its scope beyond the usual sci-fi action of the movies.
Click inside for a guide to these films with links to where they can be watched online, along with a look at The Matrix Comics
, a free series of comics, art, and short fiction created for the same purpose by some
of the best talent in the business. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi
on Feb 14, 2011 -
Thank you very much, Mr. Roboto.
Both Honda and Sony have unveiled the newest versions of their humanoid robots. Honda favours a more practical design, while Sony's is geared for entertainment. Having just watched AI
the other night, I'm wondering when and if people would want to have one around the house.
posted by Stuart_R
on Mar 19, 2002 -
The Robots Are Coming (Yawwwn...)
. Yet another corporate futurist (with a bizarre 1996 Mosaic-type website
) telling us that A.I. will deliver the "homework" robot by 2006 (now, is that January or December?). Also, look out for an emotionally responsive Barbie
"We already have technologies that can measure stress, using simple cues like skin condition and temperature and it will be easy to put these in Barbie dolls which will be able to talk to little girls when they are upset and ask what is wrong." Ech
posted by theplayethic
on Jan 22, 2002 -