Dr. Alex E. Blazer

Department of English

Georgia College & State University

Milledgeville, GA 31061




The Changing Matrix: Resurrections and Everything Everywhere All at Once


The Wachowskis’ philosophical cyberpunk The Matrix (1999) is the revolutionary epitome of postmodern film’s genre-mashing play between illusion and reality. In psychoanalytic terms, it offers the everyman, alienated by the quotidian symbolic subjectification of late capitalism's speculative promise, a superheroic fantasy of uniqueness and knowledge of the real undergirding ideology; and the Hollywood dream factory has iterated on this cinematic fantasy for two decades. Two recent films, however, speak to a changing of psychic structure within the superheroic fantasy of the revolutionary man who knows, due to the limitations of the decidedly patriarchal vision of phallic power. Lana Wachowski's The Matrix Resurrections (2021) and the Daniels' Everything Everywhere All at Once (2022) pay homage to the enlightened, special One yet transform the fantasy to a companionate relationship, in Resurrections, and a matriarchal family with a mother-daughter imaginary dyad at the center, in Everything, respectively. Resurrections evolves from the original film by criticizing the exhaustion of postmodern metanarrative and seeks emotional connection over against traumatic disillusionment. Similarly, Everything counters the cynicism and nihilism of the postmodern plague of simulacra with a multiverse of branching lives, and it also shifts from the single white male hero saving the world from the dystopian big Other of the coded machine world to the married immigrant mother saving her family from the paralyzing depression of infinite symbolic possibilities through centered familial intimacy.


This abstract summarizes my presentation, "The Changing Matrix: Resurrections and Everything Everywhere All at Once." South Atlantic Modern Language Association. Virtual Conference. 12 Nov. 2022.