French philosopher. Wrote a book called Forget Foucault (about Michael Foucault). Wrote the book Simulation and Simulacra which was the hero of The Matrix's little hiding place for secret stuff. Wrote a book called America that was a bunch of nonsense about the True Meaning of the USA as perceived by a French intellectual. He may not always be 100% right on, but he's very fun to read.

French postmodernist whom some would call extremist. Baudrillard considers our media-saturated world no longer real but a simulation of the real. We're tuned into media so often that when we escape it, we go through withdrawl, as if it were a drug.

Let me first clarify what aforementioned "hiding place" refers to (see first write-up of the node).

I am sure majority of the audience has seen the Matrix; many have seen it more than once. Well, in one of the initial scenes when Neo is awakened by someone at his door, and he is supposed to exchange certain information with his visitor (a shady guy who invites him to the club). Neo produces the disks from a tome that's sitting on the table. The book has been hollowed out and the diskettes were embedded within book. I am sure that's enough to remind you where in the movie this took place.

Not many people have noticed what the name of the book is. This is because the book cover is only shown for a split second, not to mention that it's very dark in that particular shot. It took me couple of rewinds to notice it too when I was prompted to do so by my English Professor.

The title of the book is Simulacra and Simulation by Jean Baudrillard. And I think this link between Simulacra and the Matrix is very crucial, and was not intended just to convince the viewer that Wackowski brothers know their French philosophers.

The Matrix as a system of omnipresent control IS the ultimate simulacrum. Think of simulacrum as a copy without an original. The reality/truth/existance for everyone inside of the Matrix is in fact a copy of the original world which no longer exists. The notion of simulacrum is thus stretched from a single artifact such as media, as suggested by Baudrillard, to an universally present and all-incorporating phenomenon. Thus technically the copy becomes the original and is perceived as such complicating great many things at once.

This had very profound implications for me personally. At least in my case, it is no longer sufficient to treat the movie as a scifi flick. There are obviously things that make it much more than that. Don't get me wrong, but even as just a movie it completely blew me away.

Just for my English class it proved to be a fertile ground for very engaging discussions about reality, media, hegemonies and other equally debatable things. I guess the question is now whether the directors were in some way influenced by the book, or even read it! before making this landmark movie. I can assure you the book is not the easiest read in the world, although I only read part of it.

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