Glitch in the Matrix: A Conversation with Rodney Ascher

Episode 92 · February 17th, 2021 · 1 hr 27 mins

About this Episode

With his latest film, a meditation on what it means to believe we live in a computer simulation, Rodney Ascher has once again placed himself among the most innovative and visionary filmmakers working in the documentary form today. While the "Simulation Hypothesis" has been a hot topic ever since The Matrix came out in 1997, it is Ascher's ability to suspend judgement, training his camera on the experience of believers rather than the value of their beliefs, that makes A Glitch in the Matrix such a unique and significant exploration, a strange work of "phantom phenomenology."

Weird Studies listeners will recall that Phil and JF devoted an episode to Ascher's films -- most notably Room 237 and The Nightmare -- back in the early days of the podcast. In this episode, Rodney Ascher joins them to discuss his cinematic vision, his take on the weird, and his thoughts on what is real and why it matters.


[Rodney Ascher](, American filmmaker
-- [A Glitch in the Matrix](

Jay Weidner's theories on Kubrick
Buddhist idea of the the Arising and Passing Away
[Dungeons & Dragons](, tabletop roleplaying game
James Machin, _Weird Fiction in Britain 1880-1939

Magic Eye pictures
Parmenides, Greek philosopher
Wachowskis, The Matrix
Alan Moore, "Superman: For the Man Who Has Everything"
Conway's Game of Life
Joshua Clover, The Matrix (BFI Film Classics)
Jonathan Snipes, American composer
Clipping, experimental hip hop band
"Shining" romantic comedy recut
Michael Curtiz (dir.), Casblanca
John Boorman (dir.), [Point Blank](
Louis Sass, Madness and Modernism: Insanity in the Light of Modern Art, Literature, and Thought