World on a Wire

Post image of World on a Wire

Yesterday I went, along with a few others, to see the Fassbinder film World on a Wire.  Fassbinder’s film was originally made for German television and based on the novel Simulacron-3 by Daniel F. Galouve.  This film is about computer generated people who figure out what they are and disrupt the continuity of the program by questioning their “world” and ultimately being human.  Simulacron is a computer program that simulates people and is meant to be used as a way to predict the future based on the responses received by the simulated characters in this artificial world.

I enjoyed this film.  It was The Matrix itself without all the flashy special effects and spaceship.

Just an aside…I found it interesting that the Tim Burton exhibition was at MoMa as well.  I wonder if Burton was influenced by Fassbinder.  The woman from Mars Attacks reminds me so much of Ms. Fromme.  This film also reminded me of Blade Runner in that life is created by humans, although Fassbinders’s film is not a true creation of human life form it is just a simulation of life.

As we spoke briefly yesterday, Fassbinder’s use of mirrors was evident throughout the film.  It reminded me of the Imaginary Signifier by Christian Metz.  Stiller was, for the first time, seeing himself for what he really is.  He is essentially in Simulacron’s womb.  The idea of a doppelganger was also present not just with the mirrors but because we find out Stiller was created in the likeness of Stiller in the real world.  As Jamie, hinted at, this is a play on Plato’s cave philosophy.  What would happen if everything you knew was not all there was to know.  Would you seek to explore the unknown?

There were comic moments in this film which I thought was cool.  I saw a little of a James Bond/ Jason Statham mixed into this one character, he was a ladies man and is always seen sleeping around.  Jason Statham is known for action and there wasn’t a lot of action but Stiller was always on the run.  We discussed briefly,  the powdered faces.  Everyone who didn’t play some importance in the plot was always in powder face.  It showed the uniformity of Simulacron and showed that those who were aware of what they are were more human in skin tone.

I didn’t understand the necessity for the naked dancers in the club where Ms. Fromme joins in.  *** I was just told by Ben that Fassbinder had a thing for black men.  I knew he slept around with women a lot but I guess I missed the ball on the whole homosexual implications present in the film.  I have no idea how I missed that.

The soundtrack was amazing.  As I said the sound created for suspense sounded like a mix between a bug and the sound we associate with alien spaceships.

I recommend this film be watched by any cinephile.  It was a great experience.  Although it is a 3 hour film it is in 2 parts and there is a break in between.  Almost similar to a Bollywood film interruption.

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Posted by christina421   @   19 April 2010

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Apr 28, 2010
11:14 am

This is the first time I’ve heard of this film, but it sounds very interesting. I’ll definitely check it out if I’m able to find a copy. I’ve seen two other Fassbinder films (“The Marriage of Maria Braun” and “Ali: Fear Eats the Soul”) but I never knew that he also did sci-fi.

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