The Matrix (Wachowski,
North Seattle Community
College, HUM 110: Introduction to American Film,
Some questions to consider to begin the conversation . .
. of course, you’re not limited to
these, but these should give you an idea of the types of things you need to
is a science fiction film as well as an action film. How does The Matrix fit into particular
genres? How does it break away?
the narrative structure of this film by doing a scene outline. How is this
film put together? How does the narrative structure influence your
understanding of the film?
at the fight scenes and how they are executed. What makes these fight
scenes unique in terms of filmmaking? Choose one fight scene and point out
how it is edited, filmed, and choreographed. What visual effects do you
notice in your chosen fight scene?
Where do you see animation
characters, locations, events, and other special effects at work?
sound (both diegetic and non-diegetic) used in this film? Notice when
there is non-diegetic music used and how it functions. What about the
sound in this film is unique?
mise-en-scene of this film draws attention to itself partly because it
changes so often. What are the major “settings” of this film, and how have
the Wachowski brothers used the mise-en-scene to communicate location,
mood, safe/unsafe space, “reality,” and the like? How is the mise-en-scene
predictable (as part of a science fiction film) and in what ways is it
color (or the lack of color) used? Do you see any colors used
symbolically? How do the colors of black, white, green, and red function
in this film? What about other colors?
film is loaded with religious imagery and symbolism, specifically
Christian (biblical) motifs. Point out all of the religious imagery and symbolism you
can find and what those might be communicating to the audience.
addition to the religious motifs, there are also literary references. What
literary references can you find?
does this film say about race? Gender? Point to specific scenes or
characters to support your assertions.
the many themes explored in this film is reality or the perception of
reality or of what is real. Of course, this theme of reality is
communicated explicitly via the dialogue between the characters, but in
what other ways is this theme communicated? What other, more subtle,
themes do you see developed in this film? (What’s the deal with the blue
and red pills?)