Thursday, June 26, 2003

The Matrix Reloaded

Dir: Larry & Andrew Wachowski

NEILL says:

Liking a movie is a funny thing. By liking a movie, and expressing that like, one is in a way exposing a part of oneself. It's a lesser but similar version of the anxiety that accompanies actually creating an artistic work and putting it out into the public sphere. The things you like are in a way as much a reflection of yourself as the things you create, and criticism of either can feel oddly personal.

Perhaps it's because I have so little faith in the value of my own opinion, but I find this to be a very fraught and complicated area. It may have something to do with the absolute vacuum in our society where genuine political debate should exist, but it often feels as if one has to have a position on the book/movie/TV show of the day. The web of argument, counter-argument, strategy and alliance that can spring up around these positions does to me genuinely resemble politics. The weight of opinions surrounding a work can take on a greater significance than the work itself. I myself am so feeble-minded that I can listen to an album, enjoy it, and then read so many reviews and have so many arguments (both internal and with actual real other people) that I can actually get to a point where I am no longer able to tell whether I like it or not.

Furthermore, when dealing with art that is approached in a communal setting, the opinions of others take on an inescapable power. I have a friend who shall remain nameless (... actually, forget that, it's Emma) who is by no means shy about expressing her scorn vocally when watching a movie, through a series of tuts, sighs and the occasional "oh for fuck's sake...". To give an example of how powerfully affecting this behaviour can be: after an initial tut-heavy viewing of 'Fight club' it took several years and numerous ‘return visits’ for me to come finally to the realisation that it was, in fact, a fucking spectacular movie.

Anyway, where was I? I liked Matrix Reloaded. Or at least, I think I did.


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