By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

Mark Harris

“Laurence Fishburne’s Morpheus lays it all out. ‘The Matrix is everywhere. It’s all around us,’ he explains to Neo. ‘It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you to the truth… that you are a slave, born into bondage… in a prison that you cannot touch… Unfortunately, no one can be told what the Matrix is. You have to see it for yourself. You take the blue pill, the story ends, you wake up in your bed. You take the red pill, you stay in wonderland and I show you how deep the story goes.’

“And there you have it: For all the ways in which it is subsequently elaborated on, that’s really all you need to know to ‘get’ The Matrix and to get everything, both benign and insidious, that it has spawned. In those brief screenwriting gestures, the Wachowskis concocted the perfect one-size-fits-all combination of flattery, paranoia, anti-corporate wokeness, libertarian belief in the primacy of the individual, and ideologically nonspecific anger at the system: a ‘Wake up, sheeple!’ for its era and, even more, for ours. The film has spawned only one piece of durable slang — ‘Take the red pill’ (the uses of which range from the jokey to the horrific) — but its attitudes have worked themselves into and, arguably, toxified much of our discourse. We live, today, in the anti-reality world The Matrix built.”
~ Mark Harris

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“With any character, the way I think about it is, you have the role on the page, you have the vision of the director and you have your life experience… I thought it was one of the foundations of the role for John Wick. I love his grief. For the character and in life, it’s about the love of the person you’re grieving for, and any time you can keep company with that fire, it is warm. I absolutely relate to that, and I don’t think you ever work through it. Grief and loss, those are things that don’t ever go away. They stay with you.”
~ Keanu Reeves

“I was checking through stuff the other day for technical reasons. I came across The Duellists on Netflix and I was absolutely stunned to see that it was exquisitely graded. So, while I rarely look up my old stuff, I stopped to give it ten minutes. Bugger me, I was there for two hours. I was really fucking pleased with what it was and how the engine still worked within the equation and that engine was the insanity and stupidity of war. War between two men, in that case, who fight on thought they both eventually can’t remember the reason why. It was great, yeah. The great thing about these platforms now is that, one way or another, they’ll seek out and then put out the best possible form and the long form. Frequently, films get cut down because of that curse in which the studio felt or feels that they have to preview. And there’s nothing worse than a preview to diminish the original intent.Oh, yeah, how about every fucking time? And I’ve stewed about films later even more because when you tell the same joke 20 times the joke’s no longer funny. When you tell a bad joke once or twice? It’s fine. But come on, now. Here’s the key on the way I feel when I approach the movie: I try to keep myself as withdrawn from the project as possible once I’ve filmed it. And – this is all key on this – then getting a really excellent editor so I never have to sit in on editing. What happens if you sit in is you become stale and every passage or joke, metaphorically speaking, gets more and more tired. You start cutting it all back because of fatigue. So what you have to do is keep your distance and therefore, in a funny kind of way, you, as the director, should be the preview and that’s it.”
~ Sir Ridley Scott