Understanding The Architect

I attended a private screening of the film, My Architect last night at the Sutton Theater, followed by a sumptuous dinner in the Pool Room at the Four Seasons. Normally, I eschew the Four Seasons for reasons that Jake Brooks spells out clearly in the Observer: "Few V.I.P.ís want to risk not being recognized at the door and then having to wait at the bar with a crowd full of unwashed punks wearing nose rings." That, and they have a stack of Gotham magazines on the table in the foyer.

Assured by the grand viziers of Time Warner, our host, that this would not happen, I assented to lend my credibility as a philosopher of The Matrix to this important event. Important by virtue of my being invited, seeing the movie for free, and consuming piles of sponored Four Seasons cuisine, of course.

Forget any insinuations I made yesterday about "credibility" and the eagerness of screening invitees to sell/rent/loan it out. I indulged freely in the night spa that is a preview screening, and I have to say, I came away disappointed with the film.

After The Matrix Reloaded, My fellow Kottke-ites and I spent hours trying to decode the Architect's speech. We cooked up all sorts of grand theories; we divvied up research topics (mine was determinism vs. free will within Tielhard de Chardin's noosphere) and eagerly shared our interpretations. Spoonboy had toyed with the idea that The Architect was The One's father and The Oracle was his mother. My Architect does allow for that interpretation, but it's a stretch. Basically, though, if you're looking for neatly packaged answers to the Big Questions that've plagued you since The Matrix, you won't find them in My Architect.

Frankly, I was shocked, shocked disappointed, disappointed that a company as gracious and upstanding as Time Warner would build up our excitement and expectations to such a degree, and then put out a film that lets down so completely. (The filet and the herb-encrusted lamb were wonderful, however. And the service! When a conversation partner started down to pick up the caviar-laden potato chip he'd dropped, the waiter gently reminded him who/where he was: "Leave it there. We'll have someone pick it up." In a magnanimous show of respect for the someone who would come to clean up the crumbs at our feet, we stepped one meter to the side, so as to create a more dignified place for that man to labor.)

My Architect, Nathaniel Kahn, image: myarchitectfilm.com

Anyway, saddened as I am, I feel obliged to sing a little for my supper and contribute to the "word-of-mouth" our hosts were seeking. I will try to explain My Architect and put it context with the other two films. This afternoon.

Since 2001 here at greg.org, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting greg.org that time.

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first published: November 6, 2003.

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