The Matrix (1999)

Posted by brian

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The Matrix is one of the films you have to see before you die. The Wachowski brothers blended philosophical and religious ideas; Japanese anime and Hong Kong action cinema, cyberpunk subculture, and dystopian sci-fi to create a legacy that is often imitated even today. The film set a new standard for cinematic fight scenes by introducing “Bullet Time”: capturing a moment in slow-motion while the camera moves at regular speeds. This visual effect created by John Gaeta sparked an evolution in virtual cinematography (CG doubles, projected sets, and free roaming cameras), becoming part of film making today.

Bill Pope, Owen Paterson and Kym Barrett contributed to the unique look and style of the The Matrix. The concept examined was: how would a machine world make things? Artificial, geometric, and monolithic. The grid lines on walls and ceilings of the interrogation room and the government office come to mind. The overall color compliment of green and red and the stylish leather outfits of the characters became the trademark look of the film. This aesthetic of the fabricated “Matrix world” became a stark contrast to the look of the real world. Bill Pope used longer lenses to exaggerate depth of field so characters would stand out against a blurred background. In juxtaposition with the fabricated reality of the Matrix world, the clothing became less stylish and consisted of softer, more natural fiber like materials. Even the make-up and the hairstyles of the characters became more naturalistic. To top of it off, blue and orange hues were used rather than greens and reds of the simulated reality.

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Posted on May 18, 2010 at 11:50am

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