Thursday, January 26, 2006

Portrait of the Wachowski Brothers

Portrait of the Wachowski Brothers

Portrait of the Wachowski Brothers (2004)

So...what about them? Well, the could be true could be bullshit Wikipedia says:

Larry Wachowski (born June 21, 1965) and Andy Wachowski (born December 29, 1967) are Polish American film directors most famous for the Matrix series.

Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, the Wachowskis jokingly claim to have begun their collaboration as toddlers. Both dropped out of college to pursue show business and both overcame some major hurdles on their way to success. Before entering show business, they ran a carpentry business in Chicago while creating comic books in their free time.

Since their hit with The Matrix, studios are clamoring for whatever else they have ever worked on. Trimark has bought an unproduced script they wrote years ago, Carnivore, a creepy tale about a boarding house whose residents keep disappearing. The brothers will executive-produce it, while horror veteran George A. Romero (Dawn of the Dead) will likely direct.


Prior to working in the film industry, the Wachowski brothers wrote comic books for Marvel Comics' Razorline imprint, namely Ectokid (created by horror novelist Clive Barker) in 1993. In 2004, they created Burlyman Entertainment and have released comic books based on The Matrix as well as their own original creations, Shaolin Cowboy (with art by Geoff Darrow) and Doc Frankenstein (with art by Steve Skroce).

Yes, I liked The Matrix but was never fanboy obsessive about it or the series. Actually, I preferred Reloaded over the original film and was left flat by Revolutions. And, no, I don't care enough about any of the films to argue about their merits or demerits with anyone. I know there are sites and shrines decoding every scriptural nuance -- and, like many artists, they have admirers and detractors. Detractors like Kiernan, say, on Just Movie Trailers discussing the cinematic intricacies of the trailer for the Wachowski Brothers' upcoming film V for Vendetta:

It's the Wachowski good could it be? Too bad they suck at directing. The only thing they did well was The Matrix. The two Matrixes after that sucked huge. Don't even get me started on how bad they were, because they were horrible.

It's a deal. I won't get him started. But why such ire at the Wachowskis after such rave through the roof acclaim over the initial Matrix film? Some critics risk credibility and go out on a limb, like Matt Zoller Seitz, who notes:

It has now become unfashionable to admit enjoying the Matrix trilogy, much less admiring it. [But] I like these films, not just for their technological innovations, lavish action sequences, controlled compositions, deft editing and eerily focused tone, but for their unfashionable determination to connect everyday reality and pop fantasy. And I think the pop-culture backlash against them (big box office to the contrary) has been arbitrary and somewhat unfair -- more a reaction against marketing hype than the movies themselves.

But others boil in their own bile of the real, like Albert Oxford at The Matrix Rejected who has 50 reasons for you to stay away from the films. Among his quibbles:

13. Reloaded Ridiculousness. Several times in the sequel Neo is seen flying at almost supersonic speeds. NASA experiments prove that such a velocity would tear a man's genitals off.


15. Reloaded Ridiculousness, 2. The machines added two new enemies for Neo in Reloaded, called the Twins. Their first priority is to blend discreetly into the simulated world of the Matrix, to walk among the people unnoticed. So of course the Matrix made them huge albino men with bleach-white dreadlocks who occasionally transform into shrieking wraiths.

"What's that, honey?"

"Oh, nothing. It just looks like a simple Kung-Fu Swedish Rastafarian Helldemon. I'm sure there's no need to question our fragile, sheltered grasp of 'reality' as we know it."

Or could sexism play a part in Matrix Sequel Loathing Syndrome? According to the Daily Dish and Gossip at the reputable as a Bush press conference New York Daily News:

Early raves are coming in for V for Vendetta, the latest from Matrix filmmakers the Wachowski brothers. The only thing no one knows is: Are they still the Wachowski brothers?

Unconfirmed reports have circulated that Larry Wachowski has undergone hormonal, and perhaps surgical, sex-change procedures since divorcing his wife for a professional dominatrix in 2003. The woman's cuckolded husband -- who is himself transgendered -- has identified Wachowski as a cross-dresser, but not physically transsexual.

One Hollywood insider tells me: "It is my understanding that he did go ahead with the surgery." And Rolling Stone reports that legal documents relating to his divorce and San Francisco home identify him as "Laurenca Wachowski."

Alright. No problem. Free my mind. Free my mind. No problem. Alright.

Larry and Andy Wachowski

[Photograph from Wikipedia]

I don't care about the trilogy's religious overtones or the directors' sexual propensities or the fanboy's gushings and gripes.

Today's image, for some reason, just made me think about the Wachowskis. I'll leave you to decide which brother is which.


GreatBeefalo said...

Hey, I just liked the first two movies, and I agree completely that Revolutions was trying waaay to hard to do...well, something.

What ever happened to face value? hyuk hyuk.

Tim said...

That's weird. I see a resemblance between the fractal and the two brothers too. And I've never seen any of the Matrix movies. I thought there was only one. The whole thing is in a mirrored box, isn't it? I remember thinking, how can you do a whole film in such a small setting? It was hard even for Hitchcock. Or maybe I'm confusing it with something else.

cruelanimal said...

greatbeefalo: I'm with you. I'm not sure what the last film was trying to do. I like the fight scenes defending Zion, but other than that...

Tim: Yes, I did think the image looked like the brothers. I saw a resemblance early on while making it.

I'm not sure what film you are thinking of that occurs in a mirrored box. Someone else out there might know. The only mirrored box I can recall is the final confrontation scene Bruce Lee has with the tiger-clawed villain in Enter the Dragon.

Tim said...

No mirrored box? Man, I've got to stop talking about movies I've never seen.

I used to check on Google for the correct spelling of people's names who were in movies I was writing about. Then I discovered that all I was doing was pulling up thousands of webpages where people had used the same incorrect spelling. Now I use Wordnet, a dictionary. I hear the Wikipedia is pretty good too...

Anonymous said...

Owl Eyes

Splinters under fingernails
Taste of wood granules

Here the emerald firebird
Shrieks in arrested flight

There pools of black dye
Burrow into gnarled spores

Everywhere the pine streaks
Ooze sap down furrowed rivulets

Slowly the branches rise
As the stalk hardens around its core

Gnome masks emerge from
Rubbings pounded by monks

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