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The Animatrix: Program
Written By: Yoshiaki Kawajiri
Directed By: Yoshiaki Kawajiri
This short opens with a feudal Japanese fighting program that takes place in a Matrix-like construct. Our main character, a white-maned woman, fights men on horseback. When she kills one of them they become a tumble of green glyphs that dissolve into the ground. She meets up with Duo and spars with him. Duo seems to live up to his name: he seems to have a close trusting relationship with her but breaks the news that he is going back to the Matrix. He invites her to join him. This film plays on the Cypher-related theme which begs the question, would you prefer the 'carefree life of illusion' over the more difficult life that is discovered after consuming the red pill. Could you turn your back on the 'truth' once you know it? She seems open to the possibility of red pill regret at the beginning of the film. He invites her to come back to the Matrix with him saying, "I've come to my senses" and "what's real doesn't matter, what's important is how we live our lives." But in the end she refuses him and their conflict takes place on rooftops reminiscent of the scenes from 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon'.
The visuals offer beautiful detailing, the green glyphs and red blood against monochromatic backgrounds, the bamboo leaves falling silently around the characters, and my favourite, the light playing over her exhausted face as she rises in the elevator in the closing scene.
Also by this director:
Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust (writer & director)
Ninja Scroll (writer & director)
Wicked City (director)
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Did You Know?
TV Repair Shop Scene from 'The Matrix' - 'The building this was shot in was allegedly haunted by a man who had shot himself in the basement...there was one take in which a shadowy figure could be seen lurking behind Trinity as she talked on the phone. It was a frightening night at dailies when that came up on screen. Larry and Andy wanted to use it in the film but the lawyers couldn't reach the spirit in time to get legal clearance.'
- Phil Oosterhouse in 'The Matrix Shooting Script'