The Matrix is a remix

Everything is a Remix, the short video series previously featured here, is back with a new installment on The Matrix, in which Rob Grigsby Wilson and his friends trace the influences, lifts, cribs, and sneaks that went into the Wachowskis's "original" movie.

(via Neatorama)


  1. Well duh- every work, every movie, every book, painting, etc. has influences from previous creators.

  2. I loved it, but a comment to the authors: Add subtitles or mute the soundtrack while Dick is talking. I am not a native English speaker and his words are hard to understand. I guess that people with hearing impairment, even if native speakers, have the same issue. 

  3. been following each instalment of Everything is a Remix, it’s first-class work and I’ll bet it’s shown in media studies groups for years to come

  4. A funnier idea would be to link  things that are obviously not influences on the matrix but appear similar.  Like when the bullets make the water spikes shoot into the air… imply that was ripped off from Liberace’s Dancing Waters act in Las Vegas.

    Or when Keanu twirls thru the air in sloooo-motion… imply that’s ripped off from the old NASA footage of a cat in zero-G.

  5. I still don’t understand why the machines didn’t just use cows as batteries. All the matrix would have had to be was an endless field of grass, and you wouldn’t have to worry about a bovine Neo leading any rebellions. Stupid machines.

    1. I believe I heard somewhere that the humans were more like-co-processors than batteries (since humans are net-negative energy-wise, they’d make a terrible power source); but the script didn’t want to confuse moviegoers too badly until the sequels.

    1. Most of the universe, throughout all space & time, shown in the ’70s Whoverse turns out to look a lot like Welsh gravel pits…

      1. Much like Stargate: SG1, where most planets either resembled the northwestern rainforest, or a rock quarry.

      2. and that reminds me of my favorite Who joke:

        Why do all these alien races always want to take over earth?  Have you seen the rest of the universe? It’s a gravel pit!

  6. These are a lot of the fight choreographers movies, shocker there, And if you didn’t get that the matrix was an american Wuxia, WHOA. Also PKD was a luminary figure in Science Fiction especially dealing with issues surrounding perception of reality (having an intense meth habit will do that to you), but yeah welcome to modern literary crit, context matters. Lulz.

    But I have to give mad props to theose video editors if a picture is worth a thousand words, whats a moving picture worth?

  7. Um… gee, the Wachowski Brothers watched a whole lot of great Asian action flix, read great science fiction and watched the same anime millions of Japanese did. It influenced them and they went on to make cinematic history with the greatest action movie ever made. Your point is?

  8. Wait just a gosh darn minute there.

    Most of the non-matrix fight scenes they showed were choreographed by Woo-ping Yuen. You know, the fight choreographer for ‘The Matrix’.
    It’s like claiming Vincent Van Gogh remixed Vincent Van Gogh paintings.

    Of course, Vinny made like a million paintings of that one vase of sunflowers, so I suppose it’s an apt comparison.

  9. Rob Wilson is a very up and coming talent in Hollywood.  Keep an eye on him. Great guy and super talented.

    -Not written by Rob Wilson, but someone who has worked with him.

  10. I think they missed a couple whether it was a direct influence or not. For instance, Jean Luc Godard’s Alphaville, where the protagonist battles an evil master control program who controls the minds of entire city supposedly located in space, or how about Forbidden Planet, where an entire population has turned themselves into pure energy and are stored within giant towers similar somewhat to those in the matrix.

    I second the Bucket’s point about the choreography being woo-ping doing his thing, not necessarily the brothers copying an exterior force. 

      1. uh… incorrect. That movie rules, as does any movie does which has executions performed by people being machine gunned off of diving platforms and then stabbed to death by synchronized swimmers.

    1. I suppose it was too recent to have directly influenced The Matrix story-wise, since it was released  just the year before, but as trefecta mentions above, Alex Proyas’ Dark City is thematically a very similar movie, with ordinary human beings obliviously living in a constructed, fake reality for the edification of their sinister masters (computer programs in The Matrix, alien beings in Dark City).  And both tell the story of how the illusion is broken and the shackles of the helpless denizens thrown off through the efforts of a hero who adopts the powers of the villains and uses those powers against them.

      Roger Ebert had this to say: “I believe more than ever that “Dark City” is one of the great modern films. It preceded “The Matrix” by a year (both films used a few of the same sets in Australia), and on a smaller budget, with special effects that owe as much to imagination as to technology, did what “The Matrix” wanted to do, earlier and with more feeling.”

      1. Exactly right–as I watched THE MATRIX I was thinking how this is an incredibly cool action movie version of DARK CITY. Instantaneous learning, powers to warp “reality” which is not as it seems, everyone a victim, reluctant messiah, guiding mentor–sacrified! And so on.

      2. For all those claiming ‘Dark City’ was in itself such an original piece, check out the anime called “Uresei Yatsura 2: Beautiful Dreamer” for a bit of eye opening perspective.

  11. Actually the Wachowskis openly admitted to copying from ghost in the shell. So much so that they handed their producer a copy of the DVD and said “MAKE IT LOOK LIKE THIS”

    1. Yes, but the people who really need to know and understand that – you know; the people who make movies – seem to have developed an aggressive case of wilful ignorance in that regard.

  12. You could also buy a copy of the first Invisbles trade paperback, cut the panels up and rearrange them to storyboard large parts of the Matrix. They really borrowed from it LOTS…

  13. How about the scene in Calder’s 1990 “Dead Boys/Dead Girls/Dead Things” where the characters are told they’re living inside a computer simulation called The Matrix?

  14. Why am I the first one to notice that the embedded video is OpSeattle protests and not an embed of the Everything Is A Remix vimeo video?

  15. The guys openly show you their influences. They never claimed the ideas were original. There are whole books about their influences, and the DVD “The Origin of The Matrix” looks at these.

  16. When I found out the large, green, hollowed out book at the beginning of The Matrix was real (Simulacra and Simulation by Jean Baudrillard) and an important influence on the movie I immediately made a trip into Denver to visit the wonderful Tattered Cover Bookstore to grab a copy. The librarian looking lady helping me find it went right to the “Critical Theory” shelf and handed me a smallish white paperback. When I commented that it seemed smaller and lighter than I imagined she looked at me over the top of her reading glasses and said, “I think you’ll find it’s heavy enough”.

  17. The Remix series is awesome.  Everything is built on top of something else. Sort of how you find ancient Rome under the cobblestone streets.

    Coincidentally, I just had a dream last night where I was explaining the series to someone.

  18. As some people in the video comments have noted… many of those kung fu movies were directed by Yuen Woo-Ping. Who also did the fight choreography for The Matrix. So of course they look alike.

  19. I’m pretty sure the whole goal of The Matrix was to do exactly what this video “Reveals” They set out to take all of the cool bits they’ve seen scattered throughout pop-culture and put it into a single movie – or 3, whatev – and they did it. Intentionally. 

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