VOTD: Lana Wachowski Explains The Philosophical Intentions Of The 'Matrix' Trilogy

As fantastic a film as Cloud Atlas is, one of the best things about this new film is that fans are finally getting to hear from two of its directors, Andy and Lana Wachowski. Formerly the Wachowski Brothers, the siblings exploded onto the scene in 1999 with the seminal sci-fi action film The Matrix, which was then followed by two sequels, The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions. All three were massive commercial successes, but the sequels were far from revered by fans. Unfortunately, since the Wachowskis chose to maintain their privacy during this time, few got to discuss those films with them.

So now there's Cloud Atlas and the Wachowskis are being incredibly generous with their time to discuss the film. I had 25 minutes to talk to them and while I had a few Matrix themed questions prepped, we delved so deep into Cloud Atlas we never got around to the subject of their other films. (That interview will be up soon.) One journalist did talk about The Matrix, though, and was fortunate enough to do it on camera. In the video, Lana Wachowkski talks about their intentions with the films, focusing on how the trilogy evolved into more than just a straight action vehicle. Watch it below.

Thanks to Movie City News for this interview. The Matrix question comes in at about 17 minutes but as with any interview featuring not only the Wachowskis but Tom Tykwer, it's worth watching all the way through.

Framing the trilogy as a participatory experience where the audiences is learning things as Neo does, then unlearning, then trying to creating our own meaning, is a very deep and difficult concept to try and sell to a general audience. As Lana says, it's quite close to a primary theme of Cloud Atlas — which is concerned with the transmigration of the soul — and both are things most people don't watch movies to think about or experience. For many it might be uncomfortable. This doesn't necessarily mean Reloaded or Revolutions are better than you remember, but it shows they had a purpose beyond the idea of making simple action sequels. These deep, philosophical conflicts are the true concerns of The Matrix Trilogy, and the lofty themes may be one of the reasons many people dislike the final two films.

What do you think about all of this?