Adapting philosophy

Jean Baudrillard and The Matrix Trilogy

The extensive literature on the philosophical aspects of The Matrix Trilogy perpetuates a number of highly problematic models for inter-relating philosophy and film texts. This book demonstrates the prevalence of the binary hierarchies of high/low culture, philosophy/film and word/image in much of the philosophical writing on The Matrix Trilogy. These have the effect of ensuring that the films could not make a contribution to philosophy. The author's delineation of a new methodology undermines these binary hierarchies, combining aspects of Kamilla Elliott's work on adaptation and Michèle Le Doeuff's writing on Western philosophy, to show that philosophical and filmic texts are profoundly linked through their reliance on symbolic figuration. Le Doeuff's work on the important conceptual role of imagery within philosophy has also been expanded to provide a means of considering the philosophical implications of the complex figures created by the filmic multitrack. The book traces the ways in which The Matrix Trilogy takes up and transforms Jean Baudrillard's work, thereby creating its own postmodern position. The trilogy addresses a key question arising from Baudrillard's work: is there any possibility of revolution or radical change within a pre-programmed system? The films' positive answer is created through a series of sustained changes to Baudrillard's figures and concepts. The author has shown that the films depart from the singularity that characterises Baudrillard's conception of the hyperreal and the code, offering a series of multiple, different, hyperreal worlds and codes.

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