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William Gibson - No Maps for These Territories
William Gibson - No Maps for These Territories
Actors: William Gibson, Kimberly Blair, Bono, Nick Conroy, Jenna Mattison
Director: Mark Neale
Genres: Documentary
NR     2003     1hr 29min

On an overcast morning in 1999, William Gibson, father of cyberpunk and author of the cult-classic novel Neuromancer, stepped into a limousine and set off on a road trip around North America. The limo was rigged with digit...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: William Gibson, Kimberly Blair, Bono, Nick Conroy, Jenna Mattison
Director: Mark Neale
Creators: Chris Norr, Grant Gee, Joe Kessler, Mark Neale, Mark Ritchie, Phillip Todd, Steven Miko, Chris Paine, Mark Pellington, Mary Buffet, Tom Gorai
Genres: Documentary
Sub-Genres: Docurama
Format: DVD - Color,Full Screen
DVD Release Date: 11/25/2003
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 1hr 29min
Screens: Color,Full Screen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 3
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

J. Shearon | Nashville, TN | 03/03/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"If you've read William Gibson, or are at all interested in the ethnographic aspects of technology, then this is a film you will probably want to see. At times the music video techniques of the too-hip-for-its-own-good cinematography is headache inducing. Likewise, some of Gibson's rambling rumination is a little self-indulgent - he doesn't always have much to say about technology or humanity that hasn't been uttered to the point of cliché. He's at his best when talking about his own work, although he is often maddeningly self-effacing. Like his novels, he always seems like he's about to say something huge and mind-blowing, but never quite gets there. Still, he is a fascinating and often eloquent interview subject and there is much more good here than bad. The readings from Gibson's novels by U2 singer Bono are especially fun, and the tomandandy soundtrack provides a lovely melancholic atmosphere for the proceedings."
Riding in a Limo with the Inventor of Cyberspace
R. Diamond | 10/08/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Forget book signings and the Playboy interview-this is your chance to get inside the head of the writer who almost single-handedly bridged the gap from Beats to geeks. Following a highly-stylized, self-consciously post-modern interview format, No Maps For These Territories dances around some of the hard questions-where did we come from, why are we here, where are we going-and, amazingly, delivers some answers, though it may take two or more viewings to even begin to understand them. Gibson's genius combined with tight filmmaking turn extemporaneous stream of consciousness into a fire hose of cultural information transfer. Appearances by Bono and The Edge-not to mention Bruce Sterling, Jack Womack, a creepy baby and a porn star-are almost gratuitous, but that's all part of the post-modern vibe. Be prepared to jack in at terabit speed."
Gibson's ideas, with or without any special effects, would k
Jason Mierek | Urbana, IL | 07/18/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This documentary essentially consists of William Gibson, SF author and inventor of the term/concept "cyberspace," riding in a car, smoking cigarettes, and talking about scads of interesting topics. Gibson's monologue ranges from the interpenetration of humans and technology and the futility of seeking a return to "noble savagery," the writing of William Burroughs, the role of mediation in our postmodern lives and the practice of living in a present moment embedded in this hyper-mediation. Whether or not you agree with his ideas, they are definitely intriguing and well-worth contemplating.

Alas, the visuals used in the production of the film were less than stellar. Sometimes the producers relied on the lightning fast MTV-cuts and driving drum'n'bass that were typical of the mid- to late-90s, and at other times they used such tired tricks as overexposing the film again, and again, and again. I guess the producers figured that a video of one man talking and smoking would not be compelling enough without these visual gewgaws. I respectfully disagree. Gibson's ideas, with or without any special effects, would keep me watching---and thinking---the entire time."
"It all moves so quickly now"
G. Reddick | Georgia | 07/18/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"William Gibson, speaking from the backseat of a limo while distracting, post-produced effects play across the windows, offers his views on various aspects of modern and postmodern culture: the "spooky, post-geographical feeling" he gets when he withdraws money from an ATM; the "prosthetic nervous system" our society has been growing for the last hundred years; the extent to which people are unaware that they've been "interpenetrated and co-opted by their technology"; our inaccessibility to the non-mediated world (of perceptions); the importance of the acceptance of this life ("this is it; this is not a rehearsal"); his realization that drugs serve only to "tweak the incoming data," and as such are simply "a wank"; et cetera. Interspersed with these monologues are biographical bits that would be of interest to fans of his books.

The ideas here are for the most part interesting, but don't expect too much in the way of deep, original insights or profound observations. Many of the monologues start out great, and you're just waiting for it to go somewhere, but then the subject changes. Gibson, however, has a knack for catchy phrases as well as an interesting vocal delivery. He _sounds_ like he's saying something profound.

Here are a couple of excerpts:

On religion:
"I remember consciously rejecting it at some point when I was twelve or thirteen or fourteen years old, insofar as I decided that whatever might be going on, it wasn't going on for me in the church. That wasn't where it was happening. And that's continued as a constant for me... although I think that it can, whatever it is, it can happen there, perhaps in spite of all odds. I think of religions as franchise operations, sort of like chicken franchises. But that doesn't mean there's no chicken, right? It's difficult to articulate. Actually by the time you get it reduced to something that you can talk about, you don't really have anything. Language is such an extraordinary thing, but at the same time, it just like big monkeys standing up and making noises that sound like God. [Laughs] What does that convey?"

On the internet:
"We're using technology to extend the human nervous system. The internet is a kind of global prosthetic extension of human consciousness. It wasn't consciously intended as one, but it amounts to one. The internet, if one could see its totality, would be a very profound expression of what it is to be human today. It's become the place where we do everything. It's become the place where we look for everything. We're doing something new here. It resembles something we've done before, but it's different. I think it's probably as big a deal as the creation of cities.""