"William Gibson: No Maps for These Territories" - Various Artists

Documentary / Video Release

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Background Information

This documentary was an independent documentary film made by Mark Neale, featuring the author William Gibson. Neale had also worked with U2 on their video for “Lemon”. Gibson had loosely based his characters that make up the band Lo/Rez on his experiences with U2. And U2 had previously contributed music to his audiobook of his novel Neuromancer. This documentary saw them all colliding together.

Neale explains how the U2 connection came about: “The way it actually started was that I asked Edge if he would do any music for the film. And he did, he gave me a track for it. But then we got to talking about Gibson. It didn’t seem [there was] anything unnatural about interviewing them. But the fact is there are very few people other than Gibson in the film…It’s partly because [Edge’s] music’s in there, partly because they are U2, and it’s a very good way of attracting people’s attention. And then there’s the fact that within [Gibson’s] fiction…in Idoru and All Tomorrow’s Parties, there is this band Lo/Rez who are loosely, very loosely modelled on or inspired by U2. Gibson obviously took from his experience with U2 to help create the characters of these huge rock stars.”

In the film, The Edge contributes an instrumental which has been produced by Brian Eno called “Chiba City Blues”. Overtop of the piece, Bono reads from Gibson’s book Neuromancer, and the Edge and Gibson both speak about the book. Later in the film Bono does read a line from Gibson’s All Tomorrow’s Parties: “That Laney had never been able to quite grasp the nature of this reality hadn’t surprised him. Rez was a law unto himself, very possibly the last of the pre-posthuman megastars”. Finally, at the end of the film, Bono reads from Gibson’s play “Memory Palace” in a piece that is accompanied by Daniel Lanois’ “JJ Leaves LA” instrumental. In all cases Bono’s participation is reading Gibson’s work and he is not singing in these appearances.

The entire film is 88 minutes, and was released on DVD by Docurama in 2003.

Liner Notes

Chiba City Blues:
Performed by The Edge. Produced by The Edge and Brian Eno. Courtesy of Not Us Ltd / Opan Management

JJ Leaves LA
Performed by Daniel Lanois
Courtesy of 422190 Ontario Inc

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