The Uncut Gems Podcast – Circling The Matrix Marathon

If you’ve been keeping up with our show, you probably know by now that all throughout the last month-and-a-half we’ve been exploring films tied somehow to The Matrix, which we did in the run-up to the release of The Matrix Resurrections in cinemas. However, if you just discovered us, I thought it would be a good idea to gather everything we’ve done towards this goal in one place.

In simplest terms, we curated a series of six episodes of the show to have a closer look at a bunch of things. First and foremost, we devoted three episodes to The Wachowskis as filmmakers, as we discussed Jupiter Ascending, Speed Racer, The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions. I think it goes without saying that their work slots quite comfortably within the scope of what we do on the show, which is talking about films that fell outside of the zeitgeist or never had their fair shake. Granted, at this point everyone and their mother has been revisiting The Matrix Sequels in anticipation of the new film, which is most certainly welcome, but at least from where I am sitting I think we’ve gone a step further and delved quite a bit deeper into their filmography, which isn’t something many other film fans tend to be as eager to do.

In addition, we’ve also touched on a few films that fit as ancillary precursors to the arrival of The Matrix, which capitalized on the groundwork laid by a bunch of 90s genre pieces that are now considered cult classics with a rather niche appeal. To this end, we talked about two 1995 films: Hackers and Johnny Mnemonic, both of which ended up fostering fascinating discussions about the camp culture of the 90s, the prescience of William Gibson’s writing and the emergence of cyberpunk as a genre upon which The Matrix was undoubtedly built.

Finally, we looked at one of the movies, upon which The Matrix most definitely had an impact, which is Equilibrium. In fact, we could have spent another bunch of episodes expanding on Wachoski’s cultural legacy by talking about movies that definitely benefited from the introduction of bullet time, speed ramping, exquisitely storyboarded fight choreography or even the reinvigoration of themes The Matrix was toying with. So we could have talked about Wanted, Oblivion, The One, Sucker Punch, Kick-Ass or even Inception though at least one of them wouldn’t fit within the scope of what we usually do by virtue of being one of the most popular and widely recognized blockbusters in history. You guess which one it is. But I will say that we might at some point in the future revisit a few of those movies in some capacity, so there’s always hope.

As a bonus, we also recorded a Patreon-exclusive episode of Clapper Retrospectives where we curated a list of four films that we couldn’t fit within the roster of Uncut Gems without taking over three whole months, though the selection kind of fits thematically as movies that coincided with The Matrix to an extent – Existenz and The Thirteenth Floor – both released in 1999 and both devoted to the idea of living in a virtual reality, the simulation theory and pinpointing the definition of humanity. In addition, we also discussed Ghost in the Shell and Dark City, both of which came out slightly earlier and which are closely related to The Wachowskis’ film one way or another. So, I can only invite you to listen to the episodes as well as to subscribe to Clapper’s Patreon channel (2 bucks a month) to listen to the bonus podcast. All told, this wonderful adventure will give you hours upon hours of content to listen to, so I hope you’ll enjoy it.

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