A glitch in the matrix

A glitch in the matrix
Original title:A glitch in the matrix
Director:Rodney Ascher
Running time:108 minutes
Release date:00 0000 (France)

Mulder's Review

"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." - Philip K Dick

After having directed several short films (Alfred (1997), Triumph of Victory (2001), Shirts & Skins (2008), Visions of Terror (2008), Dog Days (2009), The Lonely Death of the Giggler (2010)), director Rodney Ascher has turned his attention to the creation of some rather successful documentary films, as evidenced by Room 237 (2012) and The Nightmare (2015). This time his new documentary film A glitch in the matrix follows up on what Philip K Dick said and asks us the question of whether we really live in a real world or in a simulation.

His exciting end-to-end film draws on a multitude of testimonials, archival footage, but doesn't really manage to make us doubt our surrounding world. This idea of a devouring virtual reality is a recurring theme in cinema and we will think of the Matrix film saga with Keanu Reeves but also The Lawnmower Man (1992) and other films. While virtual reality is gradually starting to invade our reality, especially through our new generation consoles (Playstation 4&5...), A glitch in the matrix comes at the perfect time to entertain us intelligently, if not to impose itself as a perfect documentary.

Once again after the excellent Room 207, Rodney Ascher does not turn towards an easy subject and manages to keep us on tenterhooks throughout the development of his documentary. By tackling the theory of simulation, which puts forward the idea that the world we live in might not be entirely real, A glitch in the matrix puts Philip K Dick's words as well as those of other personalities in the foreground. By relying on skype interviews, animated reconstructions, archive images, but also excerpts from films and video games from the 90s, A glitch in the matrix benefits from a rich material to argue its proposals, however unrealistic they may be.

The other strong point of this documentary film is that it is based on different periods of time, be it the words of the ancient Greeks, game theorists, or erudite people, each with their own conception of the idea, and we are following this documentary film with interest. Of course, we have some difficulties to take this conception seriously, especially in the current period in which a global pandemic is leading our society through a real economic crisis, but also to totally rethink our way of life. One suspects that with the approach of the new film of the Matrix cinematic saga, such a documentary proves to be a perfect preamble and above all shows us that technology occupies an increasingly important part in our lives to the point that we really want to imagine a virtual reality in which we will be able to fly, to become one of our favorite super heroes or even to find ourselves in one of our favorite films with the main role. Of course we are still very far from having reached such a level of technology, but this film manages to really question us on this simulation theory and to wonder if this deliberate flight towards a virtual world is not a persistent symptom of a deep and existential crisis of our current society.

A glitch in the matrix
Directed by Rodney Ascher
Produced by Ross M. Dinerstein
Executive Producers: Colin Frederick, Rodney Ascher, Ross Girard, David Carrico, Adam Paulsen
Co-Executive Producers: Tim Kirk, Rebecca Evans, Neil Tabatznik, Robin Smith
Co-Producer: Tyler Glodt
Character Designer: Chris Burnham
Animation: Mindbomb Films, Lorenzo Fonda, Davy Force
Music by Jonathan Snipes
Edited by Rodney Ascher
Co-Editor: Rachel Tejada
Distributed by Campfire
Release date: Feruary 5, 2021 (USA)
Running time: 108 minutes

Seen on January 31, 2021 (Sundance Festival)

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