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Which clippings match 'Designer Drugs' keyword pg.1 of 1
18 OCTOBER 2011

Cyberpunk: the future has already happened

"Cyberpunk' is a 60–minute documentary, the ad for which states: 'What started as a book became a literary movement. What was a literary movement became a subculture'.

And that's one of the major flaws of this film. It perpetuates the general myth that everything 'cyberpunk' expanded out of 'Neuromancer' and Gibson's vision. In truth, most of the stuff covered here (virtual reality, hacking, industrial music, cybernetics, designer drugs, anarchy) was already developing quite nicely before Lord Gibson, Chairman Bruce, and the rest (Shirley, Rucker, Shiner) were kind enough to provide a fictional universe in which to fuse these disparate explorations.

The production of 'Cyberpunk' is very inconsistent, too –– some parts are professional documentary, while other parts have the odor of quick–cash opportunism. The breathy women narrator is ultimately aggravating, oh–ing and ah–ing over all this stuff.

But there is some good material here, including interviews with Gibson, Leary, Scott Fisher (of NASA/Ames), Brenda Laurel, Vernon Reed (Living Color), Bill Leeb (Front Line Assembly) and others. There's also some cool computer graphics (circa 1989) and an industrial soundtrack with Front Line Assembly, Ministry, and Severed Heads.

'Cyberpunk' is still a must–see since it's the only documentary about cyberpunk that we have."

(G. Branwyn)

Fig.1 Produced and Directed by Marianne Trench and Peter von Brandenberg, Intercon Productions, 1990.

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TAGS

1990 • anarchy • augmentation • Bill Leeb • bodybody modificationBrenda Laurel • Bruce Bethke • computer graphics • computer virus • corporeal augmentationcyberneticscyberpunk • Cyberpunk (1990) • cyborgdesigner drugsdystopiaembodimentethicsfictional universe • Front Line Assembly • hackinghacktivismhuman beings • industrial music • informationinformation wants to be free • John Shirley • Lewis Shiner • Living Color • Mariana TrenchMinistry (band)mutant scienceNASA Ames Research CenterNeuromancerorgan • phone phreaking • posthumanRudy Ruckersci-fiScott Fisher • Severed Heads (band) • speculative designtechnological determinismtechnophobiaTimothy Leary • Vernon Reed • virtual realityvirusvisions of the futureVRWilliam Gibson

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
25 NOVEMBER 2008

Liquid Sky: pleasure-seeking alien lands in downtown New York and gets caught up in a world of casual sex and heroin abuse

"A time–capsule cult movie from 1982: A pleasure–seeking alien lands in downtown New York and gets caught up in a world of casual sex and heroin abuse (the title itself is slang for 'heroin') by insinuating itself into the lives androgynous hipsters Margaret and Larry (both played by Anne Carlisle). Curiously cool, with plenty of early '80s fashion, a vivid colour scheme and a weird, pulsing electronic score.
Dir Slava Tsukerman US 1982, 112 mins, cert 18"

(Institute of Contemporary Arts, UK)

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TAGS

1980s1982alienandrogyny • Anne Carlisle • art filmcasual sexcinemaclubbingconsumptioncoolcounterculture • crystal sceptre • cultdesigndesigner drugsdeviancedrug addiction • electro • electronic musicexcessfashionfashion modelfilmfuturistic • heroin abuse • Liquid Sky (1982) • make-upNew Yorkorgasmpsychedelicpunkrapesci-fiscience fictionspace shipspectaclesubculturesubversion • synth punk • synthesized musictransgression • Tsukerman • undergroundUSA

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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