the opening of Sci-Fi July, a weekly month-long rooftop film series for friends and friends of friends, was a resounding success! Around 23 people showed up for an unknown screening of Johnny Mnemonic.

I introduced the series, or the film more-specifically rather, with the following text:

The movie you’re about to watch is based on a short story by William Gibson, regarded by some as the father of cyberpunk, who coined the word “cyberspace”, and sought a “combination of lowlife and high tech” in his often dystopian novels.

This 1995 screenplay of Gibson’s 1981 short story stars Keanu Reeves as Johnny Mnemonic, post-Bill and Ted and pre-The Matrix, whose realization of his role lies somewhere between the “duuuude” and the “whoah” of those respective films.

Set in the year 2021, Johnny is a digital data courier who stores clients’ information in a cybernetic implant in his head. It holds a whopping 80 gigabytes – which is a laugh today given our phones hold nearly this much data, and we’ve easily achieved the multi-terabyte compression level.

Johnny’s “pride in profession” rests in the security of his data-envelope, which is protected by seemingly randomly generated images, yet also reminds one today of fffffound images, delicious gif streams, and image macros: I want room service!

I won’t sugar-coat it, this is an especially bad film! A special movie to a lot of cult sci-fi fans, yet IMDB rate it at 4.9 and I think that’s being generous. Keanu’s acting is horrendous. The editing is choppy. And at 1 hour 40 minutes it can appear to go on forever. But there are some special full-minute VR scenes, some incredibly geeky one-liners, oh and performances by Udo Kier, Takeshi Kitano, and none-other than rapper Ice-T as a tattooed & dreadlocked hacker, Black Flag’s front man Henry Rollins as a saviour doctor, and Dolph Lundgren as a street preaching Jesus freak-cybernaut.

Welcome to Sci-Fi July.

the remarkable crowd shot above was taken by current Flux Factory resident from the Low Countries, Astrid Bussink.

Sci-Fi July is an informal rooftop film series curated by moi, and will happen every Tuesday in July – you will not be told what movie will be screened, but they will all be of the sci-fi genre and they will all reward you in one way or another!