Ask yourself “Did you want to visit this website?” If you believe that our world might not exist, then your visit might be the result of forces beyond your understanding.
A GLITCH IN THE MATRIX (Rodney Ascher) explores the belief of simulation theory. This idea is not new, and has been a mainstay of recent science fiction. It proposes that our lives, and the universe we inhabit, are not “real” per our definition. We could be some kind of sophisticated program, or characters in a game, with our sense of free will being an illusion.
For many moviegoers their first exposure was the film THE MATRIX, which is heavily referenced in this documentary. On a personal note, my most memorable exposure was the alien playing marbles in MEN IN BLACK.
The majority of this film’s characters speak via virtual avatars. These are all quite imaginative and disguise people as crystalline gladiators, chromed Egyptian deities, and aliens in spacesuits. Much of the film takes place in virtual worlds. One can take it as a visual comparison against our alleged reality. At times it made the whole documentary seem a little like a bizarre video game, but that might’ve been the point.
The film is presented in several modules. Each module begins with a segment of a lecture in France by Phillip K. Dick. We progressively see more of the lecture, which at times can seem influenced by Scientology, with its references of recovered memories, and how past traumas affect us.
Unsurprisingly, there are a multitude of references to “The Matrix”. Viewers are shown an imagining of an actual murder. It went on for close to 20 minutes, and though it was a lengthy portrayal, the accompanying animation helped to make it quite a disturbing recount.
There are a number of cuts to black, which can be a little disjointing. A lot of speeches could be lumped into coincidences, the Mandela affect, the Uncanny valley, or simply a shift of perspective. Does one not face infinite possibilities regardless of how they exist? I recalled the short story THEY’RE MADE OUT OF MEAT, which has a film adaptation.
Though its video game inspired presentation could appear a little scattered, it seemed to be as much about believers, as it was the idea itself. There were some interesting tidbits and recollections, as well a feeling that one could have a great conversation about the subject, but lacking that interaction, the presentation could be a lot to absorb. It leaves one to decide how they can process this information. Are we all players in someone else’s game, and we enter some terrifying null state when the game is paused?, or is reality a structured place, guiding us, yet a place where we still exist as a part of it. How the information affect us, and how we a act on it is the ultimate takeaway.
A GLITCH IN THE MATRIX is now available to rent in Canada digitally via Apple TV, Cineplex Store and wherever you rent online!