"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 -
Mother of the Matrix?
What if everything we experience is actually being delivered to our catatonic bodies by superintelligent robots? On a more practical note, what if the Wachowski brothers ripped off the ideas for their high-grossing trilogy from an unknown screenwriter who claims to have submitted it in response to a 1981 ad the brothers placed "requesting new sci-fi works?"
(registration required, but it will deliver the goods while saving you the pain of parsing intentional spelling errors in "Da Ghetto Tymz"). Does the fact that the author claiming infringement is a black woman
change the character of this story? It does seem like, considering where the case has gone, that it would be considered news
. Just how long is the arm of Time/Warner/AOL/Skynet? In other stories, how many times will
The Terminator be sued?
posted by nanojath
on Dec 6, 2004 -
Is there no spoon?
The Warner Bros Matrix site
is home to a series of scholarly essays inspired by the film (last updated 3/20/03). I mean, sure, the film offers some "whoa dude" moments regarding technology, perception, and vinyl pants, but I was surprised to find it an interesting launching point for discussions about freedom
, and Plato's Cave
as well. Being a philosophy layman, I can't vouch for their quality with any authority, but if you know the movies inside and out, as I apparently do (god help me) you might find the essays interesting.* *for the next 15 agonizing days, anyway
posted by scarabic
on Apr 30, 2003 -
What is the AniMatrix?
A direct-to-video release of 9 animated shorts (comic book style, pure CGI, etc) by 7 directors looks at possible visions of the world pre-Matrix. Looks like it could be an interesting collection.
posted by mathowie
on Sep 5, 2002 -
"This is a war, and we are soldiers."
The first teaser for "The Matrix Reloaded" and "The Matrix Revolutions" has hit the web (QT only). Is this the movie that is going to break the Spider-Man/Star Wars Episode 2 records? Do the fans want/need a sequel? Can they possibly top the "cool fight scene" quotient of the last movie?
posted by Grum
on May 15, 2002 -