retro: video: cybrpnk: promotional video for the ill fated 1986 neuromancer film adaptation.
This is a deeply odd little cultural artifact, but the thing that struck me at 1:20 in is Deborah Rosenberg’s comment about how “when one reads between the lines, it’s a panacea … you can see [Gibson’s] own very personal rainbow.” Which is echoed in this excerpt from the Paris Review interview:
INTERVIEWER: Why did you set the novel in the aftermath of a war?
GIBSON: In 1981, it was pretty much every intelligent person’s assumption that on any given day the world could end horribly and pretty well permanently. There was this vast, all-consuming, taken-for-granted, even boring end-of-the-world anxiety that had been around since I was a little kid. So one of the things I wanted to do with Neuromancer was to write a novel in which the world didn’t end in a nuclear war. In Neuromancer, the war starts, they lose a few cities, then it stops when multinational corporations essentially take the United States apart so that can never happen again. There’s deliberately no textual evidence that the United States exists as a political entity in Neuromancer. On the evidence of the text America seems to be a sort of federation of city-states connected to a military-industrial complex that may not have any government controlling it. That was my wanting to get away from the future-is-America thing. The irony, of course, is how the world actually went. If somebody had been able to sit me down in 1981 and say, You know how you wrote that the United States is gone and the Soviet Union is looming in the background like a huge piece of immobile slag? Well, you got it kind of backward.
(Also, that’s one hell of a jacket Gibson is wearing.)