Author Topic: A Glitch in the Matrix (new Rodney Ascher documentary)  (Read 648 times)

A Glitch in the Matrix (new Rodney Ascher documentary)
« on: March 21, 2021, 11:38:56 PM »
Ascher seems to be a love-hate filmmaker, but I'm somewhere in between. The good parts of each of his documentaries (Room 237, The Nightmare, Primal Screen) are enough to outweigh their flaws, and the subject matter he chooses is always right up my alley.

This is no different. A Glitch in the Matrix is about simulation theory and, similar to his other films, a large portion of it is dedicated to ordinary people's experiences/obsessions with the idea that we are living in a simulation of some kind, as well as extensively featuring an old speech by Philip K. Dick about the phenomenon and some soundbites from ... er, Elon Musk.

Sadly, it's not great. It succeeds neither in adequately exploring the mentalities or personalities behind the theories (as his other films did quite well), nor detailing the theories themselves in anything approaching an intellectually satisfying manner. The theories espoused are almost entirely based on video games or mainstream sci-fi movies, which is a shame as there is serious scientific/philosophical credibility to the idea, though you wouldn't know it if you're hearing it from people whose sole frame of reference is The Matrix or Grand Theft Auto.

I wouldn't consider myself particularly well-read on the subject, but I was practically yelling at the screen at some points because so much had been misrepresented or ignored entirely (the brief Descartes and Plato bits in particular are astonishingly misleading and underdeveloped). I understand that Ascher's method tends to be to allow his subjects to kind of go off on one without much editorialising, and while that works perfectly well when they're talking about nightmares or their interpretation of The Shining, it works far less well when actual scientific/philosophical theories are being discussed.

I have a lot more thoughts I don't have time to articulate right now, but I figured I'd get the thread going anyway.

PlanktonSideburns

  • let me play for you the song of my people
Re: A Glitch in the Matrix (new Rodney Ascher documentary)
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2021, 10:03:41 AM »
Yea I was annoyed by all those things too. The interviews have stuck with me, he is great At letting people open up, but when ever it tries to be a documentary, rather than a series of weird weird interviewit he fucks it hard

PlanktonSideburns

  • let me play for you the song of my people
Re: A Glitch in the Matrix (new Rodney Ascher documentary)
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2021, 10:06:14 AM »
Yea having elon fuckin musk as an expert was sad to see

Moribunderast

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Re: A Glitch in the Matrix (new Rodney Ascher documentary)
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2021, 11:14:50 AM »
I was looking forward to this one. I really enjoyed The Nightmare and the topic of simulation theory intrigues me as a documentary piece. That being said, I found it pretty terrible in that regard. As Noodle says, it's essentially just listening to people with very limited frames of reference saying things you'd say (or hear others say) in a room full of weed-smoke in your late-teens/early-twenties. I also didn't really appreciate listening to a guy describe how he killed his family because he'd watched The Matrix too many times. I get that maybe this was put in there to show how dangerous this kind of obsession could be but it felt very exploitative and was structured in a way I felt was just meant to shock the viewer and I pretty much turned on the film as a whole after that "revelation".

I'd love to see a documentary tackle this subject in detail and with more scientific-minded people rather than people I felt rarely left the chair in front of their desktop.

St_Eddie

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Re: A Glitch in the Matrix (new Rodney Ascher documentary)
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2021, 12:53:39 PM »
As Noodle says, it's essentially just listening to people with very limited frames of reference saying things you'd say (or hear others say) in a room full of weed-smoke in your late-teens/early-twenties...

...I'd love to see a documentary tackle this subject in detail and with more scientific-minded people rather than people I felt rarely left the chair in front of their desktop.

All this from the same filmmaker who brought us Room 237?  I am shocked!

PlanktonSideburns

  • let me play for you the song of my people
Re: A Glitch in the Matrix (new Rodney Ascher documentary)
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2021, 10:15:32 PM »
if it was just the interviews, and the neat 3d stuff, and not the stuff that tries to make it like a documentary, i think i would have really liked it

since watching it, all the shitty bits ive forgotten, and little moments in the interviews have really stuck with me

im pretty conflicted about the bit Moribunderast talks about also, - i think its actuall relation to the subject matter is very questionable, - the lad even seems to admit this himself, - which makes it very questionable as to whether they should have included such a thing

bgmnts

  • Depressed to the point of poisonous toxicity.
Re: A Glitch in the Matrix (new Rodney Ascher documentary)
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2021, 10:35:50 PM »
The idea that Elon Musk is an expert in anything beyond being a cunt businessman is fucking shocking.

Re: A Glitch in the Matrix (new Rodney Ascher documentary)
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2021, 10:39:08 PM »
The idea that Elon Musk is an expert in anything beyond being a cunt businessman is fucking shocking.

To be fair, he's never presented as an expert on anything - just a high-profile/influential proponent of the theory.

mothman

  • I don't know why
Re: A Glitch in the Matrix (new Rodney Ascher documentary)
« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2021, 10:40:27 PM »
This sounded interesting when I first heard about it (article in the Guardian I think), but y’all are putting me off it now.

Re: A Glitch in the Matrix (new Rodney Ascher documentary)
« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2021, 10:42:44 PM »
I also didn't really appreciate listening to a guy describe how he killed his family because he'd watched The Matrix too many times. I get that maybe this was put in there to show how dangerous this kind of obsession could be but it felt very exploitative and was structured in a way I felt was just meant to shock the viewer and I pretty much turned on the film as a whole after that "revelation".

Yeah, I forgot to mention that part. Definitely dodgy and didn't feel particularly relevant. Nor did the long-winded anecdote one of them tells about being in a car crash. Really struggled to tie that into simulation theory.

This sounded interesting when I first heard about it (article in the Guardian I think), but y’all are putting me off it now.

It's worth watching.

bgmnts

  • Depressed to the point of poisonous toxicity.
Re: A Glitch in the Matrix (new Rodney Ascher documentary)
« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2021, 10:46:49 PM »
Bit off topic but related to Matrix theory I suppose:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oMmoMZzsAVE&ab_channel=blameitonjorge

Re: A Glitch in the Matrix (new Rodney Ascher documentary)
« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2021, 11:02:14 PM »
This whole theory is definitely within the top four stupidest things I've ever heard.

bgmnts

  • Depressed to the point of poisonous toxicity.
Re: A Glitch in the Matrix (new Rodney Ascher documentary)
« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2021, 11:08:24 PM »
This whole theory is definitely within the top four stupidest things I've ever heard.

Really?

Re: A Glitch in the Matrix (new Rodney Ascher documentary)
« Reply #13 on: March 23, 2021, 12:03:44 AM »
This whole theory is definitely within the top four stupidest things I've ever heard.

I dunno, it's not too dissimilar from the "many worlds" theories that countless physicists and philosophers are at least sympathetic towards. I'm nowhere near smart enough to even approach the science of it all, but it's fun to think about.

By the way, here's a fun short (5 min) bit of internet sci-fi that got passed round a few years ago that sort of deals with the idea: https://qntm.org/responsibility

Re: A Glitch in the Matrix (new Rodney Ascher documentary)
« Reply #14 on: March 23, 2021, 12:43:34 AM »
It's just mystic woo for nerds.

mothman

  • I don't know why
Re: A Glitch in the Matrix (new Rodney Ascher documentary)
« Reply #15 on: March 23, 2021, 06:18:46 PM »
It's just mystic woo for nerds.

Edgelords everywhere insisting that reality is merely a simulation, which means they, like, totally don’t have to do their chores, I mean jeez Mom, get off my ass already FINE I’LL DO THEM NOW

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