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Welt am Draht

Welt am Draht

DVD - 2012 | German
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The noir-spiked tale of a reluctant action hero, a cybernetics engineer who uncovers a massive corporate conspiracy substituting simulations for reality.


From Library Staff

World on a Wire (Welt am Draht), is a stylish science fiction film by director Rainer Werner Fassbinder. The film’s convoluted storyline about virtual reality resembles that of The Matrix, but its cinematography, acting, and social critique are more provocative.

World on a Wire (Welt am Draht) was one of German director Fassbinder’s best films. This film’s convoluted storyline about virtual reality resembles that of The Matrix, but its cinematography, acting, and social critique are more provocative.

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Dec 08, 2020

"World on a Wire" is a made-for-TV movie, from 1973. It is a German production (with English subtitles), and is an adaptation of the novel 'Simulacron-3' by Daniel F Galouye. This novel also serves as the source material for the more recent film 'The Thirteenth Floor'.
The story is about a man, Dr Stiller, who is part of a scientific team that designs and builds an artificial environment - within a computer - to simulate reality. The purpose is to get public opinion polls without waiting for the opinions of real people, but instead making use of the virtual people inside the simulation. But things start to go wrong, and Stiller's colleagues begin to disappear - and no-one else can remember them.
This is a well-made, and highly interesting film. It's a good interpretation of the novel, and presents fascinating questions concerning the nature of reality.

Aug 23, 2018

WORLD ON A WIRE has all the trademarks of prime Fassbinder cinema. You have your Michael Ballhaus cinematography, all reflections, mirrors, transparencies, and circular tracking. He's as much a part of Fassbinder's style, as the Sirk stylistic references, the reappearing stock company, and the ironic weirdness that spreads over his films. Even tho its technically a Sci-fi film, since it deals with scientific inventions of the future, at no point would the imagery tell you this. Instead, you have this odd mash of 1940s costumes, with ultramodern settings.

Mar 22, 2018

Directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder in 1973 as a SF German TV serial based on the novel "Simulacron-3" by Daniel F. Galouye, this futuristic drama focuses not on action, but on sophistic and philosophic aspects of the human mind, simulation, and the role of scientific research.
Although this story appears like a primitive form of virtual reality, I felt like cheated at the end simply because the whole drama seems like nothing but a reality.
What a slow-paced and monotonous flick!
Somewhat boring!
I end up with a keen sense of disappointment.

Jan 19, 2018

Oddly prescient film. Shades of Philip K. Dick, but mostly the nearly paranoid imagination of Fassbinder. Brilliantly made, thoughtfully scored.

Jun 08, 2016

For its day this must have seemed totally out there &, in some aspects still is. Could we really get so involved in Virtual Reality as to loose reality? Scary thought for sure!
The music & shooting style was hard on my head (I suffer from severe migraines) & in turn I felt sick to my stomach, but Im extremely sensitive to lights & noises.

Feb 19, 2015

There was a high pitched warning signal, similar to a radiation exposure warning. I could only get thru disc 1.
A word for this series is INSANITY! It makes references to the next generation computing, virtual reality, human brains interfacing with computers, the new mother board of artificial intelligence. 2001 Space Odyssey was one of the sound tracks. It is futuristic regarding the current BRAIN Project now in progress.
Credits were given to IBM and Siemens (both Corporations that did business with Nazi Occupied Germany). Others Corporations were credited.
Question: If Corporations are artificial humans, then what are we?
Certain Corporations have more power than some countries!
Ref. book, "UNequal Protection", by Thom Harman-mentioned despotism-from a book: "Democracy in America", by Alexis de Tocqueville; "The First thing that strikes the observation is an innumerable multitude of men, all equal and alike, incessantly endeavoring to procure the petty and paltry pleasures with which they glut their lives. Each of them, living apart, is as stranger to the fate of all the rest-his children and his private friends constitute to him the whole of mankind; as for the rest of his fellow citizens, he is close to them, but he sees them not;-he touches them, but he feels them not; he exists, but in himself and for himself alone; and if his kindred still remain to him, he may be said at any rate to have lost his country."

Jun 08, 2013

This is amazing. For a 3.5 hour 70's German subtitled movie, it had to work really hard to make it. It's just such a thrilling movie with pieces of puzzles crawling into place at just the right speed to stay compelling. And it's reasonable to break into 2 parts, but I'm going to make someone watch it with me all in one piece next time.


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