If you’re familiar with his previous work then you’ll know that if filmmaker Rodney Ascher is picking your brains, he’s most likely intrigued by some unusual obsession of yours. Maybe you have a pet theory about Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining (Room 237) or you’re plagued by sleep paralysis (The Nightmare) or ventriloquist dummies (The Wooden Boy).
Ever-fascinated by our obsessive thoughts, Ascher considers his latest project to be the third entry in a cycle that started with Room 237 and continued with The Nightmare. This new documentary, A Glitch in the Matrix, explores the hypothesis known as “simulation theory,” which poses the question, “What if we are living in a simulation and the world as we know it is not real?”
To tackle this mind-boggling theory, Ascher uses a 1970s noted speech from sci-fi giant Philip K. Dick as his jumping off point (or red pill, if you will), to dive down the rabbit hole of science, philosophy, and conspiracy theory. Leaving no stone unturned in an attempt to explore the unprovable, the film uses contemporary cultural touchstones like THE MATRIX, sincere confessions from real-world testifiers shrouded in digital avatars, and a wide array of voices, expert and amateur alike, to bring a wealth of cultural and intellectual context to his latest investigation.
With the documentary releasing in theaters and on demand this Friday, February 5th, SCREAM sat down with Ascher to find out who or what we might actually be if “simulation theory” is not an invention of science fiction and our minds and bodies are actually being controlled by some unknowable entity….
Words: Howard Gorman