When The Matrix came out in 1999, it set a standard for science-fiction films that followed it. It was the perfect film to usher the genre into the 21st century. Anyone who remembers watching the theatrical trailer for The Matrix will tell you that it pulled them right in (at least that was how it was for me).
What made The Matrix such a hit was how the Wachowskis combined so many subgenres into one film so seamlessly. Influences for the film included Lewis Carroll, the Bible, Greek mythology, and the list goes on.
The Matrix co-creator Lilly Wachowski, in an interview with Netflix Film Club, revealed the film, directed by herself and her sister, Lana, at its core had a transgender narrative.
When asked about what she thought of the fans discussing The Matrix’s trans allegory, Lilly answered:
“I’m glad that it has gotten out. That was the original intention, but the corporate world wasn’t ready for it. When you make movies, it’s this public art form. I think any kind of art that you put out in the universe, there’s a letting go process because it’s entering into public dialogue. I like that there’s an evolution process that we, as human beings, engage in art in a nonlinear way that we can always talk about something in new ways and in new light.”
Last year when The Matrix celebrated its 20th anniversary, Emily VanDerWerff of Vox shared her own view of the brilliance of Lana and Lilly Wachowski when shaping the narrative of the film:
“…when I was 18, I was obsessed with The Matrix. The movie celebrates its 20th anniversary on March 31, 2019, a date that is also, coincidentally, the 10th trans day of visibility.
The Matrix was directed by Lana and Lilly Wachowski, two trans women who at the time of the film’s release had not yet come out as trans publicly (or perhaps even to themselves). It is by far the most influential work of pop culture ever created by a trans person… everything about it that replicates what the trans experience is like prior to coming out — and, thus, made it so appealing to trans viewers.”
Lilly came out as trans in 2016 and shared her coming out story at the GLAAD Media Awards that year.
Back in May, Telsa CEO Elon Musk tweeted, “Take the red pill.” This, in relation to The Matrix, is meant to wake up from the computer-simulated world of the film to rise up against the machines that have enslaved the human race. However, the term was appropriated by the internet to have a conservative political awakening. After Musk posted this, Ivanka Trump tweeted her approval to his tweet which prompted Lilly to put both of them on blast.
Fuck both of you
— Lilly Wachowski (@lilly_wachowski) May 17, 2020
While Lilly is not involved in the upcoming fourth installment of The Matrix saga, her sister, Lana is writing and directing it with trilogy stars Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, and Jada Pinkett Smith returning along with some new faces to film franchise including Neil Patrick Harris, Jonathan Groff, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, and Brian J. Smith (who worked with Lana and Lilly on the Netflix show, Sense8).
What do think of Lilly Wachowski’s confirmation of the trans allegory in The Matrix? Let us know in the comments or on our social media accounts.
Sources: Vanity Fair, Netflix Film Club YouTube Channel, IMDB, Cinema Blend, Vox
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