I submitted a question for a recent Don Davis interview on the Music from the Movies website. Unlike the occasional interview questions I submit on Slashdot, this one was actually used. I asked about the similarities between his music for The Matrix Reloaded and recent Philip Glass compositions (in particular his soundtrack for Naqoyqatsi which also had some Matrix-like visual effects). He didn’t think there were any similarities but then went on to say his work was more like that of John Adams or Steve Reich, two other well known minimalists. So I think that means he admits to being heavily influenced by minimalism but he doesn’t want his work to be seen as being derivative of Glass, who also does a lot movie soundtracks. There are some other interesting questions in the interview but roughly half of them are just variations on the question of whether or not it was easy for a modern composer like Davis to work with a techno/electronica group like Juno.
Susan and I just returned for a second viewing of The Matrix Reloaded. Susan has decided that it’s really a musical rather than an action movie; with well choreographed martial arts set to music in place of more traditional dancing. Could be. Seemed to me that bits of it were very derivative of Naqoyqatsi – a lot of the music sounded like knock-off Philip Glass and several of the 3D, swirly, green wireframe visuals looked awfully similar – that’s not exactly a complaint since I like to listen to both real and simulated Philip Glass music. I could have done without “The Twins” – they were boring, predictable, and totally uninteresting. Hopefully we won’t be seeing them next time around. I read lots of complaints in reviews about the length of the “rave” scene and about Morpheus’ speech in the temple but I found both of them appropriate. The Morpheus speech seemed like a nice Shakespearean touch. I could imagine Henry V (or Captain Kirk) giving the same speech in another time and place.
We finally agreed on what happened in the room with the architect this time. And we’re more or less in agreement that some variant of the meta-matrix theory will likely turn out to be true. The only part that still doesn’t quite add up is why Neo has to fly all the way across town to get to Trinity if she’s falling off the same building he was in? And, if she’s supposed to really be all the way across town – why is the backup power system to Neo’s building located in another building that far away – that doesn’t even begin to make sense. (yeah, and if it’s supposed to be a backup to the power grid itself, that means Neo’s building doesn’t have its own backup power. Equally unbelievable; even the little building our office is in has backup power.) Is it supposed to be some sort of Superman making time go backwards by flying around in circles thing? Who knows… But, the first Matrix had the whole nutty thing with machines using human body heat for power (ummm, didn’t anyone think about how many megawatts of power would be needed to support all those humans just to drain off a few lousy btu’s of heat?). But movies wouldn’t be any fun to watch and discuss if there weren’t a few plot holes to argue over. And this was definitely a fun movie to watch, lest anyone get the wrong idea.