I recently returned from a holiday in Trinidad ...more of a research run than anything else, while there I did manage to drop into a mas camp or two in the Port of Spain environs and took some Photos of what I saw.
I did drop into the Showtime mas camp to find out more about their 2010 presentation called the Matrix. Now almost everyone will know what the Sci-fi cult smash represents, the story line the Hero etc so I don’t think I have to break down the movie to anyone right now.
Movies and Mas in Trinidad have a long history, the influence of Hollywood on the Mas men and band leaders can be traced to the earliest Red Indian Mas bands and the biblical bands of the mid 20TH century Carnival. Back then the costumes for some bands were made to be as close a replica to what was seen in the movies, even Pan sides where named after the Hollywood war epics of the time like Destination Tokyo.
So the people at Showtime too have decided to use the theme of the Hollywood blockbuster The Matrix as their first venture as a band for Carnival 2010. The band does not follow the movie’s story line to the letter at first glance, but with closer scrutiny one can identify the relationship between costumes and the characters in the movie fairly easily, like the Trinity, Niobe Logos, and Eye of the Oracle sections.
Sections like Agent Orange threw me completely, reference was made to it in the synopsis but that too made little sense to me when put next to the whole Matrix theme. Virtuality, (virtual reality?) Zion and Oblivion are designs that can go here or there it’s all about interpretation when added to the theme of the band, for me these sections work.
The Matrix is a text book fun band, the designs though not exceptional are tight, with sections like Merovingian, Trinity, Oblivion and Exiles standing out in style and interpretation in my opinion. As a first venture as a Band I think Showtime has done a safe job, I don’t know how many masqeraders they are aiming for but with a balanced band in numbers small, medium, or large I think the Matrix visually can do some damage on the road come 2010.