Cyberpunk is a 1990 documentary that explores the world (and term) that William Gibson invented with his book Neuromancer. The bulk of the documentary consists of interviews with Gibson, Jaron Lanier, Timothy Leary and Michael Synergy. A few industrial bands have their music featured as well.
The cyberpunk movement embraces artificial reality, bionic medicine, “smart” weapons and drugs, and industrial music. But most notably, cyberpunks are associated with computer hacking, piracy and crimes. These are young people who fight fire with fire, pitching their ethos, “Information wants to be free,” against those who would control, restrict, or direct high technology. Their agenda is similar to that of the Sixties counterculture, yet their means are very different, and to some, terrifying. Cyberpunk tells how this phenomenon began and explores its implications.
Included are interviews with Gibson, Jaron Lanier, Timothy Leary and Michael Synergy. Cyberpunk is a futuristic “edutainment,” whose production values mirror its content. It features animation as well as live-action, and “guerilla image processing” techniques that were once available only to large production companies that could afford expensive generators. The filmmakers’ declared intent was somewhat subversive itself: to create such density of audio-visual stimulation that even the itinerant viewer would be engaged and entertained, hardly suspecting that the results would be education and thinking.”