The whole world is taking a surreal turn with this unprecedented coronavirus lockdown. The strangely quiet streets and the almost alien media images look like they’re happening in some less fortunate yet faraway facsimile of the place we call home. We’ve become so used to lives of unrestricted indulgence and profound comfort that just a single empty supermarket shelf somehow seems unreal, a mistake, an affront to all that we know to be true and take for granted.
It’s hard to escape the idea that the world in which we live is somehow becoming detached and decoupled from the world flickering on our TV screens. We haven’t changed, so it feels increasingly like there’s something wrong with reality.
With one half of our existence muffled through social isolation and the other amplified through social media, there’s never been a better time to flick through that old movie collection and break out The Matrix. It is without doubt the biggest, most influential and greatest memetic movie of them all.
Set in a world where nothing is real, except for everything we experience, The Matrix gives form to every nagging doubt we’ve ever explored about free will and social control, while suggesting that nothing we know can ever be truly authentic…whatever authentic actually means in a world where everything is a dream.