E​‌‍‍‍‌‍‍‍‌‍‍‍‌‌‌‌‌‌‍‍​SSAY PAPER NO. 1  PHILOSOPHICAL FILM ANALYSIS In making a film analysis, we treat the film as a “text” which means that it has to be studied and  analyzed. Your paper should not be just a summary of the film or  a “movie review” (this is a  not a film appreciation nor a creative writing class). The paper needs to focus on the guide questions below which explore the philosophical aspects of the films. The related text (Plato’s The Republic Book VII) provides the conceptual background and/or philosophical framework in your analysis and evaluation, hence reading it is necessary before writing your paper (you may watch the film before reading the text or vice versa, which ever is more convenient for you). Your philosophical analysis should contain the following:

 1 Your own title. 

2 Basic information about the film (title, year released, director’s name,  characters, plot summary) 

3 Philosophical Analysis  (answers to the guide questions)

 4 Assessment and Commentary (expression of your opinions, learning, criticisms, reactions, the film’s effect on you, etc.) 

5 Recommendation (Would you encourage other philosophy students to view the film?  Why?) A philosophical film analysis of  “The Matrix” 1999 (to be viewed on your own outside of class). Guide Questions (Answer all): 

1 According to the directors/writers of the movie, “The Matrix” is a modern day retelling of Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave.” What are the similarities between the situations of prisoners inside the cave and the people inside the matrix?

 2 Who is Neo in The Matrix? What about the agents? Who is “Neo” in ​‌‍‍‍‌‍‍‍‌‍‍‍‌‌‌‌‌‌‍‍​Plato’s allegory and who are the “agents” ? 

3  After Neo is expelled from the Matrix, Morpheus gives him the following lecture on appearance/reality: “What is real. How do you define real? If you’re talking about what you can feel, what you can smell, what you can taste and see, then real is simply electrical signals interpreted by your brain. This is the world that you know. The world as it was at the end of the twentieth century. It exists now only as part of a neural-interactive simulation that we call the Matrix. You’ve been living in a dream world, Neo. This is the world as it exists today….

 Welcome to the Desert of the Real. We have only bits and pieces of information but what we know for certain is that at some point in the early twenty-first century all of mankind was united in celebration. We marveled at our own magnificence as we gave birth to AI.” The Matrix is just one thought experiment to convey the problem that everything that we perceive might be an illusion. How would Plato solve this problem? What is real for Plato? 4  In a meeting with Agent Smith, Cypher makes the following remark while eating a steak: “You know, I know this steak doesn’t exist. I know that when I put it in my mouth, the Matrix is telling my brain that it is juicy and delicious. After nine years, you know what I realize? Ignorance is bliss.” Do you agree with Cypher that ignorance is bliss in the context of the Matrix? What about in the context of Plato’s allegory? 5 Plato claims that  those who have escaped the cave must be made to descend again. Why?  How does this apply to Neo and Morpheus? Will Plato ag​‌‍‍‍‌‍‍‍‌‍‍‍‌‌‌‌‌‌‍‍​ree with Morpheus that all these things are a matter of fate?

Leave a Reply

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