April 30, 2021 -
A Sundance Film Festival favorite from director Rodney Ascher (“Room 237”), “A Glitch in the Matrix” is a fascinating and visually stimulating documentary examining simulation theory—the idea that this world we live in might not be entirely real.
Simulation theory is as old as Plato’s Republic and as current as Elon Musk’s Twitter feed; Ascher’s film traces the idea from philosophical engagements by the ancient Greeks to modern explorations by Philip K. Dick, the Wachowskis, and leading scholars, game theorists, and enthusiasts. “A Glitch in the Matrix” deftly parallels conversations with people who believe we’re living in a computer with the purely digital nature of the film itself; all interviews were conducted via Skype, all reenactments were digitally animated, and archives are largely drawn from ’90s-era cyber thrillers and video games.
The allure of narratives about dominating forces controlling our lives resonates powerfully with life on Earth. Amidst advancing waves of technology within today’s sophisticated digital culture, “A Glitch in the Matrix” explores the scientific possibility of simulation theory while interrogating it as a symptom of twenty-first century existential crises.
Stick around after the film for a pre-recorded discussion between director Rodney Ascher and critic Joshua Rothkopf, exclusive to virtual cinema.