RAD Screenings/ The Matrix and The Animatrix Double Bill at Stockport Plaza

Tom Grieve, Cinema Editor

RAD Screenings/ The Matrix and The Animatrix Double Bill at Stockport Plaza Cinema, Stockport 15 June 2019 Tickets from £11 — Book now

Keanu Reeves is enjoying a little bit of a critical renaissance recently. Spurred by the release of the latest film in the John Wick series and its accompanying round of press interviews, critics and fans have been rallying around an actor who has always been so much more than “Sad Keanu.” He’s an actor capable of inscrutable blankness and grace, an actor who can tap into goofy humour but also carry and communicate deep tragedy. He’s back with another Bill and Ted film soon, but he spent 14 years blacklisted by Fox for declining to appear in Speed 2 as the script wasn’t up to scratch. Roles in films by Francis Ford Coppola, Bernardo Bertolucci, Gus Van Sant and Richard Linklater — plus special mention to Kathryn Bigelow’s masterful Point Break — show the depths of his talent and the respect with which he is held by some of the industry’s greatest voices.

Of course, the work for which Reeves will be most fondly remembered are The Matrix movies. A cultural phenomenon launched twenty years ago, the first Matrix film combined leather and sunglasses with philosophical ideas and Hong Kong-influenced action sequences. Written and directed by the Wachowskis, a sibling team who have both since gender transitioned, the film imagines a structure in which the world as we know it is a false, simulated reality constructed and maintained by machines. Reeves is Neo, or Thomas Anderson, a hacker living within this false reality, until a band of rebels, led by Laurnce Fishburne’s Morpheus and Carrie Ann-Moss’ Trinity, liberate him in the belief that he is “the One” set to lead them to freedom.

The Animatrix is a collection of shorts produced with Japanese animators.

Released from the simulation of “the Matrix”, Neo finds a scorched, dystopian world. However, armed with the knowledge that the world as he knew it was false, Morpheus teaches Neo to bend it to his will. The film can be read as trans allegory, as a story of awakening, of malleability, of bodies and minds. Many have noted that the pill Neo takes to escape the Matrix is red: the same colour of 90s prescription estrogen. When the antagonistic Mr. Smith (Hugo Weaving) wishes to rile Neo, he refers to him as “Mr. Anderson.” Fans of The Matrix would do well to check out the Wachowskis’ Netflix show, Sense8, which explores similar themes in a manner that is often giddier, and even utopian.

The Matrix was infinitely cool, from its CGI ‘bullet time’ shootouts, to its leads, to its iconic costuming. But its success also lay the richness and ideas of its universe. The film sparked two sequels, but also an accompanying animated series which further fleshes out that universe and its backstory. As part of their anniversary event, RAD Screenings have chosen to screen The Animatrix alongside the 1999 classic. This collection of nine shorts (four of which were written by the Wachowskis) was produced in a variety of styles in collaboration with the cream of the Japanese animation industry, and is very rarely screened.

RAD Screenings/ The Matrix and The Animatrix Double Bill at Stockport Plaza Cinema, Stockport 15 June 2019 Tickets from £11 Book now

Where to go near RAD Screenings/ The Matrix and The Animatrix Double Bill at Stockport Plaza

Air Raid Shelters

Carved into the natural sandstone cliffs, the intriguing network of underground tunnels offers visitors an unparalleled insight into life in wartime Britain in the 1940’s.

Image licensed with iStock.
Stockport Central Library

Stockport Central Library is a Carnegie library, built 1913–15 in the Edwardian Baroque style. It continues to serve as Stockport’s largest library.

Hat Works Museum

Top hats, bowlers, trilbies …. who doesn’t love a hat? Visit the UK’s only collection devoted to hats which celebrates Stockport’s role in the hatting industry.

Stockport Memorial Gallery on Wellington Road Stockport.
Stockport War Memorial Art Gallery

Stockport War Memorial Art Gallery aims to give emerging artists the space to showcase their work. It has a varied programme, though its exhibitions often return to themes linked to…

The Produce Hall
The Produce Hall

This Stockport-based modern food hall has a beer-focused bar and plenty of food stalls to satisfy all tastes.

Bar or Pub
Bohemian Arts Club

Bohemian Arts Club is a chic and intimate cocktail bar in Stockport owned by Blossoms singer Tom and Katie Ogden.


Odioba is a new audiophile bar in Stockport, from the team behind the much-missed NAM. Coffee shop by day, bar by night.

Where The Light Gets In

It might be in Stockport but Where The Light Gets In serves up some of the most magical food in the UK. With a fixed multi-course tasting menu that changes with the season and a strictly limited number of seats, this is the North’s best-kept secret.

Vintage Village in Stockport

Find quality authentic vintage clothing and accessories for men and women, vintage jewellery, homewares, decorative items, textiles, luggage, furniture, curios and collectables, and unexpected delights you never knew you wanted, all at this pop-up village in Stockport every month.

What's on: Cinema

CinemaCheetham Hill
Jewish Culture Club

Meet new people, explore contemporary cultural works and learn about Jewish culture with Jewish Culture Club at Manchester Jewish Museum.

free entry
A still from the original Godzilla, showing the monster terrorising Tokyo.
KaiJuly at Showroom Cinema

Showroom present a celebration of all thing’s kaiju, of giant monsters, rubber suits, of nuclear horrors, mystical fantasy, and royal rumble free-for-alls. The Godzilla franchise is recognised as the longest continuously running film franchise in history, with 33 Japanese films to its name, and 5 US productions.

from £5.00

Culture Guides

Rebecca Watson author photo
Literature Events in Manchester and the North

In between working out, then working through, your holiday reading pile this summer, find inspiration for your next bookish acquisitions from our selection of live events and exhibitions.