One from the Heart: “Hackers” (1995)

Post by Kevin Dover

Every so often, we look back at a movie that holds a special place in our lives. This is “One from the Heart.” In his debut on the 2 Shot, Kevin Dover writes about his love for Iain Softley’s 1995 film, Hackers.

I was going to write something deeply emotional and sentimental, but I couldn’t. That’s not me. My aesthetic vocabulary is limited. The film under consideration is one that I’ve seen hundreds of times. I’ve enjoyed it each time. I’m compulsive. I fixate. It’s probably Freudian. No, Pavlovian. I’m talking around the film. I’ve not even mentioned the title. Does it matter?

The year was 1995, and I was 12. I nostaligize this year. Many of my favorites revolve around it by mere coincident. It probably isn’t. It just so happens.

The film is Hackers. The last cyberpunk film made. Cyberpunk, defined here, is the movement that started with Neuromancer, roughly. Hackers was the end.

Cyberpunk now is an aesthetic. No longer a movement. Its time passed as with all movements. Movements are all destined to die, and only to be relived in memories. You had to be there. The clarion call of golden agers. Doesn’t make it any less silly or untrue. I’m reminded of the triteness of Juno, the making punk cute, the misremembering, but that’s a different post.

What can I say other than that I love it? That’s the completeness of my thought.

I don’t think when it comes to any art form. I simply feel. I’ve always already reneged on my bargain. I can’t really say anything else. The film reaches inside of me and impels me to remember who I wanted to be. To be what I couldn’t. To be only as I imagine. But it’s never sadness. I know my delimits. It always rekindles my mind. That exhortation, that moral uplift as they promulgate, “Hack the planet!”

This isn’t a review, but it is all about the film, the ambience. This film is one of my touchstones. When I think of the revolution of my life this is very near the center of the map.

No other film has even remotely come close to the impact of this film on my life. I didn’t even realize it until I wrote this just how much it has meant, and I’ve said so little about it, but I had been writing about it all along.


Kevin Dover is working on his PhD in Rhetoric and Professional Communication in the English Department of New Mexico State University. He may or may not have seen the film Hackers over 100 times.


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