World on a Wire - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

World on a Wire Reviews

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April 16, 2017
A superior thriller, even if I think some of the film could have been shaved off. Exceptional simply because it was directed by Fassbinder, who usually directs dramas. Also surprising how beautiful the film looks considering Fassbinder owned all of his own cameras.
½ November 26, 2016
Fascinating Fassbender take on paranoia, from a 4-hour German television mini-series.
November 7, 2016
year s/b 1973 not 2011
March 3, 2016
I insist on the 5 stars and will skip over the fact the lead character (or actor?) is rather irritating. But its also a part of this piece's very strange charm anyway
Super Reviewer
½ February 21, 2016
An intriguing film of philosophical ideas that could have only come from Fassbinder - his style is all over it, including dazzling visual compositions that reflect with elegance what he wants to say (like with the mirrors) -, but the narrative is a bit repetitious in its expository dialogue.
December 9, 2015
World on a Wire is a fascinating effort by RWF, powered by staggering production design and expressionistic acting and camera movements, which albeit seeming awkward at first, fit perfectly within Fred Stiller's 'reality' and all its underdeveloped electromagnetic impulses. Challenging perception and raising questions about our own existence, the film laid the groundwork to all existencial sic-fis in decades to come. I'll say, though, that Rick and Morty did it in 22 minutes.
August 12, 2015
The release date is wrong! It`s 1973!
July 2, 2015
The first Fassbinder I saw.
½ September 29, 2014
Though dated, there will only ever be one Rainer Werner Fassbinder. This made for German TV movie is so far ahead of the cinematic curve it fascinates, entertains and 40 years on still manages to feel surprising and subversive. Brilliant.
½ September 14, 2014
Bizarre and groundbreaking at the same time.
August 26, 2014
Years before The Matrix hit the scene and nailed the idea of the real world being a fake world into the ground (and then some), German director Rainer Werner Fassbinder made the television epic World on a Wire, which subsequently was missing for a quarter of a century. It reappeared in the early 2000's and was eventually restored by the Rainer Werner Fassbinder Foundation. Quite obviously, the most intimidating aspect of the film is its length, which is close to four hours. It was actually presented in two parts originally, but now both parts are combined and make up one massive film. And while it does have an enormously slow build to it that eventually pays off in the long run, the first half is a bit tough to sit through. Don't get me wrong though. I'm not prudish about a foreign film with subtitles at all. It's not that. It's because the original format and the way that it was presented. It takes its time, more than most films like it. As a result, I did find myself bored. Still, as a whole, the film is intriguing and interesting. It may not be the easiest film to sit through, but you'll feel rewarded if you do.
½ August 8, 2014
I think that this perhaps suffers from being a tv drama. It kinda repeats its themes too much and adds very little new stuff very slowly. That said, the imagery and style of filming are very memorable and give you much to talk about. It springs up in my mind weeks and weeks later.
July 28, 2014
shown at the 60th Berlin International Film Festival in 2010. It was also released on Region 2 DVD by Kinowelt/Arthaus as part of the Arthaus premium series and by Second Sight in the UK. It has since screened at the Melbourne International Film Festival, New York's Museum of Modern Art, Rochester, NY's Dryden Theatre, the Harvard Film Archive, San Francisco's Roxie, the Cleveland Cinematheque, Nashville's Belcourt Theatre, the University of Colorado at Boulder's International Film Series, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 2010 and 2011
July 27, 2014
Rainer Werner Fassbinder only sci-fi film, based on the novel "Simulacron-3" is smart and intriguing, and is also very much a forerunner to virtual reality stories like "The Matrix". The hero of the story works at a cybernetics company that's created their one virtual world in computers where electronic people live out their lives, unknowing they are really just programs. However, our hero soon begins noticing glitches in the matrix and beings to suspect that his world too is a virtual simulation in a computer. However, where "The Matrix" went the action film route, this film chooses to instead follow a more philosophical and cerebral approach to these ideas. This film is much more interested in the ideas of parallel universes and question of what really is reality takes these ideas on a much deeper level than "The Matrix" or other similar films, which generally just throw out the idea but don't really delve too deeply into them. Originally filmed as a German TV Movie, this film is pretty long and did feel a bit overlong and the pace is not exactly brisk, but the film is intelligent enough to hold your interest. Fassbinder is a director I've never really watched much of, but this film intrigued me enough that I want to see some more of his films. I've been especially interested in checking out his Douglas Sirk influenced films.
July 23, 2014
Tuesday, July 22, 2014

(2011) World On A Wire
(In Germany with English subtitles)
SCIENCE-FICTION MYSTERY

Four hours long divided into two parts, which was initially a 2 part mini-series for German television back in 1973, written and directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder starring German veteran actor Klaus Löwitsch as Fred Stiller getting involved with the mysterious death of his co-worker, Henry Vollmer (Adrian Hoven) and the disappearance of his friend, Günther Lause (Ivan Desny). And as it turns out, it's something to do with a computer, the company that's financing the project, called IKZ is involved in which has the ability to create another alternate universe, dictating stocks and bonds.

"World On A Wire" is also another movie that is the basis for "The Matrix" and "The Thirteenth Floor" to name a few. A film, I have to agree with other users that it's way ahead of it's time since back in 1973, many people still didn't know what a computer looked like, let alone know how to operate one.

3 out of 4 stars
½ June 1, 2014
If you're willing to take a chance on this film, chances are you will like it. It is definitely slow paced action, and it even feels like an oozing technicolor German mystery-epic. I would say you have to have some appreciation for cinematic art in order to get through it. This was my first Fassbinder film and it took me a couple stop-starts from the beginning to really get into it, despite the intrigue. Every interaction is laid down thickly, and it was a little difficult for me to recognize which cues were important at first. Eventually I picked up the groove and by the intermission I was delighted I'd stuck it out. This is definitely the stuff of a visionary and I am thrilled to journey onto his others.
½ May 19, 2014
Rainer Werner Fassbinder's only foray into science-fiction has proven itself to be quite a precedent not just for cinema, but also indeed for the technological age we now live in. One of the very first films to tackle the concept of virtual reality (and coming almost a full decade before William Gibson's Neuromancer), World on a Wire is a philosophical and layered film about the concepts of reality and identity, carried by luminescent decor, didactic-yet-comprehendible characters, and scenarios that really call into question where mankind's humanity starts and ends. A slow-burn that takes it time to be meditative, but World on a Wire isn't without tropes that one would see in genre, and in some ways it's the ultimate existential take on 70s conspiracy thrillers. It's almost criminal that this film is left off of so-many lists for best science-fiction films of all time.
August 17, 2013
Yep it is stylish, dystopian and cinematically far ahead of its time but its treatment of the big questions is superficial. The film mostly asks the questions, but doesn't quite attempt to answer them. Perhaps part of the reason I did not love to movie is that we have come quite some ways in the forty years since it was made but I don't think that's quite the reason. Films like 2001 a Space Odyssey and Blade Runner have held up quite well.
williamhunt2
Super Reviewer
August 15, 2013
Vintage Fassbinder! It is long, the version I saw was 200 min. and it took me half an hour to really get in to it but then I was absorbed, it was shot in two parts; each of feature lenght, the first one may drag a bit for some people but part 2 is very exciting and I guarantee that the end of this epic is a scene you will never forget. The cinematography is refined and astonishing, even more so if you consider that this was a tv production for WDR. After watching this a second time it was even better as the first viewing, I noticed a lot of details that went unnoticed the first time: often in the acting. There are a lot of subtle hints in the first half hour of the film that made more sense on a second viewing. This is an asbolute must-see for Fassbinder fans, it's amongst his best work and there are some amazing shots in here including a traveling shot with the camera just 1 cm above the ground. During the film I rewinded the dvd on several occasions to watch some shots again. Fassbinder has a habit of using mirrors and mirror shots in his films but never as much as in 'Welt am Draht', it is really full of mirrors up to the point that in many scenes you don't even know wether you are watching an image in a mirror or not. It's his only Sci-Fi movie but it blows away more recent films such as the Matrix on every level, this has so much more philisophical depth and especially nowadays with the internet and virtual realities this piece of art, released in 1973, was decades ahead of it's time.
August 6, 2013
Intriguing, prescient, and amusingly campy in retrospect.
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