1. rocketsandrayguns:

    pureaesthetic:

    retro: video: cybrpnk: promotional video for the ill fated 1986 neuromancer film adaptation.

    What the?

    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.)

  2. Still from Inception, dir. Christopher Nolan, 2010.
The Gibsonian Institute is interested as well in works inspired by Gibson’s—an inspiration that he, disarmingly, doesn’t necessarily see himself, at least initially. At his booksigning in Austin, he said that he’d assumed that Inception's filmmakers had been influenced by the same things he had—J.G. Ballard, Giorgio de Chirico, and so on.
And they certainly may have, although on at least one count, VFX supervisor Paul Franklin (interviewed here in Wired) freely acknowledged his debt to Gibson on Twitter:

@GreatDismal #Inception folding city owes something to the description of the TA Spindle in Neuromancer. It was in my thoughts as we made it

From Neuromancer:

"Welcome to the Rue Jules Verne," Molly said. "If you have trouble walking, just look at your feet. The perspective’s a bitch, if you’re not used to it."
They were standing in a broad street that seemed to be the floor of a deep slot or canyon, its either end concealed by subtle angles in the shops and buildings that formed its walls. The light, here, was filtered through the fresh green masses of vegetation tumbling from overhanging tiers and balconies that rose above them. The sun…
There was a brilliant slash of white somewhere above them, too bright, and the recorded blue of a Cannes sky. He knew that sunlight was pumped in through a Lado-Acheson system whose two-millimeter armature ran the length of the spindle, that they generated a rotating library of sky effects around it, that if the sky were turned off, he’d stare up past the armature of light to the curves of lakes, rooftops of casinos, other streets… But it made no sense to his body.
"Jesus," he said. "I like this less than SAS."

    Still from Inception, dir. Christopher Nolan, 2010.

    The Gibsonian Institute is interested as well in works inspired by Gibson’s—an inspiration that he, disarmingly, doesn’t necessarily see himself, at least initially. At his booksigning in Austin, he said that he’d assumed that Inception's filmmakers had been influenced by the same things he had—J.G. Ballard, Giorgio de Chirico, and so on.

    And they certainly may have, although on at least one count, VFX supervisor Paul Franklin (interviewed here in Wired) freely acknowledged his debt to Gibson on Twitter:

    @GreatDismal #Inception folding city owes something to the description of the TA Spindle in Neuromancer. It was in my thoughts as we made it

    From Neuromancer:

    "Welcome to the Rue Jules Verne," Molly said. "If you have trouble walking, just look at your feet. The perspective’s a bitch, if you’re not used to it."

    They were standing in a broad street that seemed to be the floor of a deep slot or canyon, its either end concealed by subtle angles in the shops and buildings that formed its walls. The light, here, was filtered through the fresh green masses of vegetation tumbling from overhanging tiers and balconies that rose above them. The sun…

    There was a brilliant slash of white somewhere above them, too bright, and the recorded blue of a Cannes sky. He knew that sunlight was pumped in through a Lado-Acheson system whose two-millimeter armature ran the length of the spindle, that they generated a rotating library of sky effects around it, that if the sky were turned off, he’d stare up past the armature of light to the curves of lakes, rooftops of casinos, other streets… But it made no sense to his body.

    "Jesus," he said. "I like this less than SAS."

  3. Death and the Compass. 1992, dir. Alex Cox, starring Peter Boyle, Miguel Sandoval, and Christopher Eccleston.

    This film, posted to Dailymotion by the BFI, is an adaptation of Jorge Luis Borges’s short story of the same name. It’s a strange, flawed piece of cinema, and in a lot of ways it’s not very good. The acting can be pretty wooden, and the sound mix is positively dreadful. It’s also stylized to a fault, brilliant with color, packed with beautiful, demented electronic carnival music. (If anyone can help me get a CD of Pray For Rain’s dazzling score, I will be forever grateful.) It’s not pure Borges, as the spare bones of the original short story have been filled out with a bizarre noir sensibility unhappily married to a fantasia of twentieth-century Central or South America (Borges’s own Argentina, perhaps?). But I found that it was worth watching for all that; there’s something compelling about any representation of Borges’s work on screen, even imperfect.

    Gibson’s fondness for Borges is well-known, and he wrote a preface to the New Directions edition of Labyrinths published in 2007. And it is perhaps also worth noting, when you watch this film, that its detective-hero Erik Lönnrot wears an amazingly vivid blue suit, and that his downfall can be interpreted as a case of apophenia. I don’t know if Gibson has ever seen this film, so these resonances may all be pure coincidence. For which, as Win Pollard would point out, we must always leave room.

    From “An Invitation By William Gibson”, published in Labyrinths, 2007:

    I do, however, remember the sensation, both complex and eerily simple, induced by my first reading of “Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius” while seated in that green chair.

    Had the concept of software been available to me, I imagine I would have felt as though I were installing something that exponentially increased what one day would be called bandwidth, although bandwidth of what, exactly, I remain unable to say. This sublime and cosmically comic fable of utterly pure information (i.e the utterly fictive) gradually and relentlessly infiltrating and ultimately consuming the quotidian, opened something within me which has never yet closed.

    Or without me, possibly, I hungrily and delightedly saw, as Borges’ hallmark corridors of mirrors opened out around me in every direction. Decades later, now, I understand the word meme, to the extent that I understand it at all, in terms of Tlön’s viral message, its initial vector a few mysteriously extra pages in an otherwise seemingly ordinary volume of a less than stellar encyclopedia.