Wow. 20 years. I had no idea we were 20 years into The Matrix’s release until I started noticing an unusually high number of articles talking about it last year. I wasn’t going to write about the film at all until I noticed something that irritated me about what I was reading. I hate to be “that guy” (or “that girl”, in my case), but it really does seem to me that the younger generation is completely out of its depths analyzing older movies. Most if not all fail to even grasp them on even a fundamental level, and yet there’s this incredible amount of arrogance when they try to “break movies down.”
Category: Mind Bender
WARNING: Please do not read this essay if you’ve never watched Fight Club, as it contains major spoilers.
Let’s face it–movies aren’t credible sources of information. Either they oversimplify reality or stretch credulity to its limits. The last thing anyone should be doing is looking to any movie as reference. However, having actually studied psychology in college, I think that Fight Club (1999) might be the exception to the rule. I don’t think I have ever seen a movie that explored so many complex theories with such depth and clarity. The film does such a good job, in fact, that I think it would be great required viewing in any Psych 101 class.
Hoo boy. Probably no film has caused as much consternation as David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive (2001). Viewers seem split into two camps. On one hand, you have those who were certain there was a logical, understandable story line throughout. On the other hand, you had people who thought that the movie was a complete and total unmitigated piece of incoherent crap, and that any explanation that anyone can come up with is just a desperate attempt to create something out of nothing.
If there were ever a question to kick off a raging, exhaustive debate, it’s whether Douglas Quaid from Total Recall (1990) had really gone to Mars or whether the last two thirds of the movie never, ever happened and he wound up a vegetable as the result of an embolism.
For me personally, the matter became settled years ago. After I carefully weighed both sides of the debate and re-watched the movie multiple times, my conclusion was this–Total Recall was neither embolism or reality. It was all a dream.