Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All
Wednesday, February 18, 2015
I have always thought Diva by Jean-Jacques Beineix was the best cyberpunk movie of the 80s. The capture of the Diva's voice on an illegal recording, the circulation and confusion of the taped confession of a sex-trafficker with the Diva's voice, the voice directing the ghost Citroen through the streets of Paris, the fairy tale voice over the phone keeping a wounded boy conscious as both killers and a guardian angel converge upon his bleeding body... all seem to me to anticipate sfnal conceits of precarious meat, of info-spirits and virtualities, of the hustlers and couriers of the cyberpunk genre. The vast ruined warehouse shimmering with broken shards of glass is a scene that could be taken directly from Blade Runner (a film released one year after Diva) or Ghost in the Shell. Almodovar's films Matador and Law of Desire a few years later offer up much the same dreaminess infused with pop ephemera and video games but it is not until a film like The City of Lost Children that such dreaminess collides so conspicuously with cyberpunk (and in that instance also steampunk) themes and visuals. Perhaps the proximate vitality of the Moebius and Jodorowsky collaboration is part of this story, too. It does not semm like an accident that both Blade Runner and Diva as well as The Incal are all cited together in The Fifth Element in the millennial aftermath of New Wave.