I love watching The Matrix. Almost as much as I love to watch Bladerunner. I used to think I enjoyed the Matrix for the action sequences. Bladerunner—I prefer the director’s cut because it doesn’t any voice-over—I like for its mood. But if I’m really honest with myself, I’d have to say that I like the Matrix for one gesture in particular: the way the lead agent says “Mr. Anderson” when he’s addressing Keanu. These crystalline moments appear in films every now and then. I suspect they’re sounds as often as they are images. Brando in Apocalypse Now saying (and as if to validate what I’m getting at, it’s played back on tape) “like a snail on a razor’s edge.” Eastwood saying “Do you feel lucky, punk?” In Star Wars, the everlasting: “Luke, use the force.” Are these created for us intentionally, to serve as hooks upon which a film might be hung forever after? I doubt it. Where do they come from? The pen of the scriptwriter? A fortunate minute of shooting? Actors doing what they do best? Strange, this, that so much can come of so little, and that it can develop such a grip on audiences that one small gesture can guarantee a film longevity beyond its years. Now that I think about it, I do know why I like Bladerunner. “Time to die.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *