The influential classic, World on a Wire, is arriving on Blu-ray. Stunningly restored, the Blu-ray is a limited edition and packed with a slew of new, special features and a 50-page booklet.
Described by the New Yorker as “an astonishing display of precocious cinematic virtuosity”, Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s dystopian sci-fi epic was years ahead of its time on original release in 1973. Fascinating themes that run throughout the plot would go on to later be explored in films such as Blade Runner, The Matrix and most recently through series, Westworld.
Fassbinder was both radical and controversial, and the original notion behind World on a Wire was that is was meant for TV over film. The plot is centered around Simulacron 1, a highly advanced project designed to elevate conventional computer technology to new heights through virtual reality, inhabited by “identity units” (computer generated people). Something that will benefit everyone if the creator has their way.
Things take an unexpected turn when the head of the project dies under mysterious circumstances, leaving Dr Stiller (Klaus Löwitsch) to take charge. As the new doctor begins to dig deeper into the project, lines between real and virtual blur, leaving Stiller to question the nature of his own existence.
45 years since its release, the film is a fresh and captivating as ever. Fassbinder’s science fiction masterpiece, also starring Barbara Valentin (Body in the Web, Our Man in Jamaica) and Mascha Rabben (Salome, The Sensuous Three), showcases a rare and well deserved 100% critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
The new restoration is available from February 18 and has been supervised by The Rainer Werner Fassbinder Foundation, and by Michael Ballhaus (Goodfellas, The Departed).
Slant Magazine described the film as, “A fascinating and dynamic film, packed with intriguing ideas and soaked in a moody ambience, exploring themes as relevant as ever to our swiftly technologically advancing world.”
While Film Comment expressed: “Nothing short of a gale-force blast from futures past, and for long time Fassbinder freaks or welcome newcomers to the fold, one of the cinematic (re)discoveries of the year.”
World on a Wire is an absolute must see for film lovers everywhere, and what better way to experience such an esteemed classic than on completely restored, high definition, Blu-ray.
World on a Wire is released on Blu-ray in the UK on February 18.