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The Matrix Trans-lated

The Matrix Trans-lated

Even before The Matrix series creators Lana and Lilly Wachowski came out as trans, hot takes on the layered allegorical meanings of the film franchise abounded — and since then, hot takes about the transness of this saga have proliferated even more. 

In this class, we’re going to go behind the takes and dive deep into all things trans in The Matrix. We’ll watch all four films in series, read and explore material from the trans creators of the films, and speculate about why it took Keanu until Movie 4 to realize that it’s… kinda trans. 

In addition to exploring gender allegories galore, we’ll take the four films of The Matrix as a set of unfolding layers in a puzzle box about reality, destiny, programming and free will, a set of movies that uniquely asks us for our analysis, detailed attention and, of course, a self-reflexive questioning of what we believe to be true about our experiences as consumers of mediated realities, and as gendered beings.


5/9: The Matrix (1999, 136 min)

5/16: The Matrix Reloaded (2003, 138 min)

5/23: The Matrix Revolutions (2003, 129 min)

5/30: The Matrix Resurrections (2021, 148 min)

This class will be taught by Max Swanson, a filmmaker/performer, writer, educator, and organizer based in Portland, OR. They currently also teach at NW Doc and PSU, and work as a freelance story consultant. They are also a co-producer of the local drag and art collaborative Max & Mars Present.   Films will be screened at the Movie Madness Miniplex, followed by an instructor-led discussion. Classes will begin on Thursday evening, May 9th, and be held each Thursday through the 30th, at 6:30pm.   Class size will be limited to 18.   Email us at if you have any questions.

In general, the Hollywood Theatre does not provide content advisories about the subject matter shown in our theatre. Films exhibited don’t necessarily reflect the views of the Hollywood Theatre. Information about content and age-appropriateness for specific films can be found on Common Sense Media and