"Johnny Mnemonic": The First Film to Portray a Graphic Vision of Cyberspace


The science fiction cyberpunk action film Johnny Mnemonic, released in June 1995, was the first major motion picture to portray a graphic vision of cyberspace or the Internet. Loosely based on the short story "Johnny Mnemonic" by William Gibson, it was directed by Robert Longo, and starred Keanu ReevesDolph LundgrenTakeshiIce-T and Dina Meyer. Its graphic sequences were the first full-frame 35mm effects to be completed using IBM-compatible hardware.

Regardless of the questionable acting and primitive computer graphics, Johnny Mnemonic introduced a compelling idea: the use of hand gestures or object manipulation to gain access to information. This we did not see again until the 2002 film Minority ReportThe main character must properly manipulate a segmented pyramidal shape in order to gain access to a certain file. He twists the segments in a certain order as one manipulates a Pyraminx (a triangular version of the Rubik's Cube) until the proper sequence is performed.


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