Rainer Werner Fassbinder

World on a Wire

World on a Wire

World on a Wire is a gloriously paranoid, boundlessly inventive take on the future from German wunderkind Rainer Werner Fassbinder. With dashes of Stanley Kubrick, Kurt Vonnegut, and Philip K. Dick, Fassbinder tells the noir-spiked tale of reluctant hero Fred Stiller (Klaus Löwitsch), a cybernetics engineer who uncovers a massive corporate conspiracy. At risk? (Virtual) reality as we know it. Originally made for German television, this recently rediscovered, three-and-a-half-hour labyrinth is a satiric and surreal look at the world of tomorrow from one of cinema’s kinkiest geniuses.

Film Info

Special Features

  • New, restored digital transfer, supervised by cinematographer Michael Ballhaus, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • Fassbinder’s “World on a Wire”: Looking Ahead to Today, a fifty-minute documentary about the making of the film by Juliane Lorenz
  • New interview with German-film scholar Gerd Gemünden
  • New English subtitles
  • Trailer for the 2010 theatrical release
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by film critic Ed Halter

New cover by Sam Smith

Purchase Options

Special Features

  • New, restored digital transfer, supervised by cinematographer Michael Ballhaus, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • Fassbinder’s “World on a Wire”: Looking Ahead to Today, a fifty-minute documentary about the making of the film by Juliane Lorenz
  • New interview with German-film scholar Gerd Gemünden
  • New English subtitles
  • Trailer for the 2010 theatrical release
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by film critic Ed Halter

New cover by Sam Smith

World on a Wire
Cast
Klaus Löwitsch
Fred Stiller
Mascha Rabben
Eva Vollmer
Karl-Heinz Vosgerau
Herbert Siskins
Adrian Hoven
Professor Henry Vollmer
Ivan Desny
Günther Lause
Barbara Valentin
Gloria Fromm
Günther Lamprecht
Fritz Walfang
Margit Carstensen
Maya Schmidt-Gentner
Wolfgang Schenck
Franz Hahn
Joachim Hansen
Hans Edelkern
Rudolf Lenz
Hartmann
Kurt Raab
Mark Holm
Karl Scheydt
Detective Stuhlfauth
Rainer Hauer
Inspector Lehner
Ulli Lommel
Rupp
Heinz Meier
Von Weinlaub
Ingrid Caven
Uschi
Eddie Constantine
Man in car
Rainer Langhans
Waiter at party
Credits
Director
Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Produced by
Peter Märthesheimer
Produced by
Alexander Wesemann
Based on the novel Simulacron-3 by
Daniel F. Galouye
Screenplay
Fritz Müller-Scherz
Screenplay
Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Director of photography
Michael Ballhaus
Camera assistant
Ulrich Prinz
Editor
Marie Anne Gerhardt
Production design
Kurt Raab
Costume design
Gabriele Pillon
Makeup
Rosemarie Schönartz
Assistant directors
Renate Leiffer
Assistant directors
Fritz Müller-Scherz
Continuity
Corinna Brocher
Music
Gottfried Hüngsberg and Archives

From The Current

Three Reasons: World on a Wire
Three Reasons: World on a Wire

ption for the video could go here and be however long it needed to be, within reason, of course.

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World on a Wire: The Hall of Mirrors
World on a Wire: The Hall of Mirrors

Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s only work of science fiction, World on a Wire (1973) is surely one of the most obscure items among the forty-odd titles that constitute his filmography. Originally a two-part miniseries broad­cast on West German televisi…

By Ed Halter

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Auteurs in Space
Auteurs in Space

Despite its reputation as a popcorn genre, science fiction has been an exciting frontier for some of cinema’s most innovative and ambitious masters. For Auteurs in Space, a Criterion Channel series we just premiered today, we’ve gathered a lineup…

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Rainer Werner Fassbinder

Writer, Director

Rainer Werner Fassbinder made an astonishing forty-four movies—theatrical features, television movies and miniseries, and shorts among them—in a career that spanned a mere sixteen years, ending with his death at thirty-seven in 1982. He is perhaps remembered best for his intense and exquisitely shabby social melodramas (Ali: Fear Eats the Soul)—heavily influenced by Hollywood films, especially the female-driven tearjerkers of Douglas Sirk, and featuring misfit characters that often reflected his own fluid sexuality and self-destructive tendencies. But his body of work runs the gamut from epic period pieces (Berlin Alexanderplatz, the BRD Trilogy) to dystopic science fiction (World on a Wire) as well. One particular fascination of Fassbinder’s was the way the ghosts of the past, specifically those of World War II, haunted contemporary German life—an interest that wedded him to many of the other artists of the New German Cinema movement, which began in the late 1960s.