This book looks at the ways in which The Matrix Trilogy adapts Jean Baudrillard’s Simulacra and Simulation, and in doing so creates its own. Before you reach for the blue pill at the mention of yet another book on The Matrix trilogy (Wachowski brothers ), I want to emphasise from the outset. Constable, Catherine () Adapting philosophy: Jean Baudrillard and the Matrix trilogy. Manchester, UK ; New York: Manchester University Press.
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Jean Baudrillard and The Matrix Trilogy. Before you reach for the blue pill at the mention of yet another book on The Matrix trilogy Wachowski brothersI want to emphasise from the outset that Constable has managed to do something novel and exciting with arguably overworked material.
Most importantly, this is the first study to bring the entire cultural and intellectual phenomenon of philosophical writing on the films to critical analysis within a film studies context. However, fans of the trilogy and the tomes it has inspired will not be disappointed, as Constable’s own close readings in the later chapters also contribute to the philosophical dialogue she surveys and critiques in the first part of the book.
Yet, Constable goes much further in using the films and their readings as object lessons for a systematic rethinking of the cinematic adaptation of philosophy.
A case in point is the work of Jean Baudrillard, not only insofar as it has inspired the trilogy’s conception and provided a framework for its philosophical analysis, jexn also as exemplary of the function of imagery within adwpting discourse. In surveying the literature, Constable inventories philosophical assumptions about film as an object of study that tend to get uncritically reproduced, particularly within the tradition of Anglo analytic philosophy. Consequently, the films are treated either condescendingly as ‘good examples’: Constable provides an incisive analysis of the paradoxes and contradictions that eventuate, adaphing example, in discussions of filmic adaptations of Baudrillard’s concept of the hyperreal, which contests the very relation between original and copy that the fidelity model presumes.
Ironically, the ‘bad copy’ enacts a heightened fidelity to the source.
Adapting philosophy: Jean Baudrillard and The matrix trilogy – Catherine Constable – Google Books
Yet, as Constable points out, such ironies are not restricted to the attacks of analytic philosophers, but reach their apogee in Baudrillard’s own disqualification of the trilogy on the basis of infidelity to his thought.
Baudrillxrd Constable calls for instead is an inquiry into how philosophical thought gets reconstituted within the communicative structures specific to moving images, rather than lamenting that latter’s inability to form a syllogism.
The way forward, Constable argues, starts from an understanding that the key link between philosophical and filmic texts is not argumentation but figuration, which is crucial for articulating a more expansive te of adaptation.
Considerable effort is spent tracing Elliot’s argument that while structuralist semiotics has broadened the notion of textuality to incorporate film and other image-based media, it still preserves a separation of graphic and iconic signs in relation to which thought gets excluded from the perception of images.
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She turns instead to the interrelation of metaphor and metonymy within Christian Metz’s cine-semiotics to challenge the separation of thought and perception within film experience. Her reading of Metz is insightful If you would like jeean authenticate using a different subscribed institution that supports Shibboleth authentication or have your own login and password to Project MUSE, click ‘Authenticate’.
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