The matrix

Boringly postmodern and an ideological fantasy: Slavoj Žižek reviews Matrix Resurrections

The first thing that strikes the eye in the multitude of reviews of Matrix Resurrections is how easily the movie’s plot (especially its ending) has been interpreted as a metaphor for our socio-economic situation. Leftist pessimists read it as an insight into how, to put it bluntly, there is no hope for humanity: we cannot survive outside the Matrix (the network of corporate capital that controls us), freedom is impossible. Then there are social-democratic pragmatic ‘realists’ who see in the movie a vision of some kind of progressive alliance between humans and machines, sixty years after the destructive Machine Wars. In these wars ‘scarcity among the Machines led to a

Breakdown in Berlin: Red Pill, by Hari Kunzru, reviewed

‘I was what they call an “independent scholar”’, confides the narrator of Hari Kunzru’s Red Pill, a middle-aged writer from New York of modest reputation who secures a three-month residency at the prestigious Deuter Centre in Berlin. While there, he hopes to write something about ‘the construction of the self in lyric poetry’ and escape the pressures of fatherhood. However, he soon finds the ethos of the centre — on transparency, surveillance and measurable outputs — counterproductive to his notions of artistic creation. Instead, Kunzru’s protagonist is pulled away by new distractions. He discovers that the romantic writer Henrich von Kleist killed himself and a young woman in a suicide