Fassbinder’s only — and far ahead of its time — work in the science fiction genre. Special screening as part of The Sunset Fired a Hundred Suns programme.
World on a Wire
Welt am Draht
1973, Rainer Werner Fassbinder
212 minutes, German with Russian subtitles
Starring: Klaus Löwitsch, Mascha Rabben, Karl-Heinz Vosgerau, Günter Lamprecht
The 1970s. A supercomputer Simulacron-3000 is launched at the Institute of Cybernetics and Future Science: it is capable of creating virtual worlds populated by thousands of human simulacra, convinced of their own reality. These two worlds are indistinguishable in the film, which gives the film a lingering, disorienting feeling of growing paranoia. The stories of realities within realities in The Matrix and Inception seem simplistic in comparison to Fassbinder’s work.
Shot from Welt am Draht, 1973
World on a Wire is about something more than just the digital future: Fassbinder uses computer simulation as a metaphor to think about his own métier, film and television, as a form of virtual reality.
— Ed Halter, The Criterion Current