Larry and Andy Wachowski are notoriously elusive. They don’t do press for any of their movies, in fact they don’t talk to anyone or show up anywhere, at least not on the record. They don’t do pictures either, and outside of a couple of paparazzi shots floating around out there, the general public has not seen or heard from them in person for well, many, many years. The last real Wachowski Brothers interview I could find after a spin around Google, took place in 1999.

They did step out of the shadows for one moment though, and it happened on Roger Ebert’s watch. The brothers responsible for The Matrix, V for Vendetta, and… unfortunately, Speed Racer crawled out of their cave (wherever it is) and talked to America’s most venerable film critic. If they were only going to talk to one person… I’m glad it was Roger Ebert.

It wasn’t so much a formal meeting as an accidental encounter in which Roger happened to be watching a special screening of Paramount’s new Godfather print, when they walked in. Afterwards they hung out in a bar to talk, and Roger published snippets from their conversation right here. Ebert describes them as looking like “guys who had spent way too much time playing "Speed Racer" before making it into a movie,” and claims that their hermit reputation doesn’t fit their real life persona. He calls them “Nice people. Friendly. No Hollywood attitude.”

During their time with Ebert, they talked little about the Wachowski’s films or their unlikely place in the past, present, and future of cinema. The closest they came was an admission from Larry, that Kubrick’s 2001 was one of the inspirations for the look they were trying to create in The Matrix. Larry also talked very briefly about Ninja Assassin saying, “Yeah, we're resurrecting the 'Ninja' craze.”

For the most part though, Roger and the Wachowskis talked about their mutual love of film, geeking out over classic cinema and different types of camera lenses. Were this an interview with anyone else, it might not even be worth reporting. But this is Andy and Larry Wachowski, directors more influential than perhaps anyone since Spielberg and Lucas, and yet more unavailable than anyone since Howard Hughes locked himself away in a room and wore Kleenex boxes for shoes. If you love movies, make it a point to click over to Ebert’s place, where you can read the entire thing.

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