From The Matrix Resurrections (2021), dir. Lana Wachowski (all images courtesy WarnerMedia)
Lana and Lilly Wachowski are among the most transgressive filmmakers working in Hollywood. Despite their ambition and high concepts, the works the writer/director siblings have made since the seminal The Matrix have often been dismissed because of their unabashed stylization, sentimentality, and sincerity. That they’ve evolved as storytellers seems to affront those who crave if not fetishize consistency. The sisters have gone their separate creative ways in recent years, with only Lana returning to the series that made them famous with The Matrix Resurrections (directing solo and writing the script with David Mitchell and Aleksandar Hemon). The themes of the Wachowskis’ films have historically come across as more important than their pioneering aesthetics (often unsubtly and sometimes with questionable implementation), but here Lana seems to have found the perfect balance. Whether regarding the value of the past or present, prioritizing action or storytelling, or highlighting characters over visuals, Resurrections is about existing within binaries and embracing multiple facets of life.