This film’s namesake is obviously a quote from The Matrix. It’s funny that they should invite such a direct comparison to that film. Like The Matrix, this documentary is bound to gain a cult following. It will also certainly produce a fair share of converters.
A Glitch In The Matrix is a documentary that explores the ideas of Simulation Theory. This is the theory that we as human beings are not physically here but merely part of a simulation. The film introduces us to intellectuals who have studied the theory and have written academic papers. It also tells the stories of normal people who believe this theory. It uses countless examples of media to illustrate the ideas posed by the many who have covered this topic.
A Glitch In The Matrix is made in a similar vain to films like Hail Satan? and Behind The Curve. It takes a community full of eccentric people and then explains their beliefs while showing the real faces behind some well known groups. But where Behind The Curve is by no means endorsing the ideas of Flat Earthers (some may even say mocking them), A Glitch In The Matrix feels like it was made by someone who believes Simulation Theory. The documentary never really takes a moment to try and disprove anything that’s said. This is of course because the idea is basically impossible to prove, it’s an incredibly existential question. As one of the interviewees says, it’s a question we’ll only know the answer to when we die.
The film does use a lot of people’s different stories to illustrate it’s ideas. One of the most fascinating of these stories is told through an old interview with the author Phillip K. Dick. He’s the writer behind many of the best science fiction films and shows of all time like Blade Runner, Total Recall and The Man In The High Castle. Dick explains that his stories are all his attempts at writing down the several dreams he’s had of horrible alternate worlds. Though he claims that these aren’t dreams at all, but visions of alternate simulations that his mind could have been placed in. There are several accounts just like this from several people, all of which are incredibly profound and engrossing.
A Glitch In The Matrix has got so much style. The whole aesthetic of the film is like a video game. The narrator is an automated voice speaking through a computer. People who are interviewed are animated over to look like comic book characters to keep them anonymous. It’s a fantastic effect and makes the illustrations of their stories flow seamlessly. The film makes you believe it’s hypothesis simply through the way it’s made.
Simply put, A Glitch In The Matrix is a fascinating, visceral and existential journey that will definitely leave you questioning reality. There are points where it can get a bit ahead of itself. There’s too much information to unpack a lot of the time, but that’s definitely part of what the director is trying to say.
Dir: Rodney Ascher
Featuring: Nick Bostrom, Joshua Cooke, Erik Davis, Paul Gude
Prd: Ross M. Dinerstein, Tyler Glodt
Music: Jonathon Snipes
Runtime: 1 hour 48 mins
A Glitch in the Matrix is released on 5 February 2021 on VOD platforms and Dogwoof On Demand and DVD and Blu-ray release 10 May 2021.