Western's Queens Vernacular Film series is hosting a pair of events in February: a presentation and discussion by Cáel M. Keegan titled "Sensing Transgender: The Matrix as Trans Masterpiece" on Feb. 13, and a screening of the film "Bound" on Feb. 12 at the Limelight Theater downtown.
"Sensing Transgender: 'The Matrix' as Trans Masterpiece"
4 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 13 in Fraser Hall 101
Free and open to the public
When The Matrix (1999) exploded onto movie screens at the end of the 20th century, no one could have predicted how deeply its storytelling and special effects would become woven into popular culture. Twenty years after its release, references to The Matrix are everywhere. From music videos to memes to scripted television to alt-right chat rooms, The Matrix is indeed “all around us.” And yet, the meaning of The Matrix continues to evolve: what audiences initially experienced as a dystopian sci-fi epic now appears to predict the rise of 21st century transgender politics. This talk revisits The Matrix as a trans-authored masterpiece, one that offers today’s audiences a surprisingly radical vision of transgender liberation.
Cáel M. Keegan is Assistant Professor of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Integrative, Religious, and Intercultural Studies at Grand Valley State University. His research focuses on the analysis of transgender cultural production–its sensorial aesthetics, politics, and histories. His book, Lana and Lilly Wachowski: Sensing Transgender (University of Illinois Press, 2018), stages the first academic analysis of the Wachowski sisters as the world’s most influential transgender media producers.
Co-sponsored by Film Studies, LGBTQ+ Western, Fairhaven College, the Art Department, and the Program in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.
Screening of "Bound"
5:45 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 12 at the Limelight Theater, 1416 Cornwall Ave., in downtown Bellingham
Tickets are $3.
Sparks fly when Violet (Jennifer Tilly) sets eyes on Corky (Gina Gershon) in an elevator. Violet is the girlfriend of a violent gangster, Caesar (Joe Pantoliano), while Corky is fresh out of prison and doing renovations on the apartment next door. As the two women launch into a passionate love affair, they assemble an intricate plan for Violet to escape from Caesar—with two million dollars of the mob’s money. 'Bound' was the first feature film by directors Lana and Lilly Wachowski, who would then go on to direct The Matrix as their next project.
For more information about the Queens Vernacular Film Series, contact Associate Professor of English Greg Youmans at firstname.lastname@example.org.