598 World on a Wire

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by Criterion and the films on them. If it's got a spine number, it's in here. Threads may contain spoilers.
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Jeff
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Re: 598 World on a Wire

#76 Post by Jeff » Tue Nov 15, 2011 9:20 pm

Did anyone ever determine if this was shot 25fps? If so, will that necessitate a 1080i transfer, and how does that effect bitrate?

Either way, Criterion has been routinely putting four and a half to five hours of HD content on discs for a while now with no sign of compression problems (Kes, Close-up, Stagecoach, Blow Out, Fanny and Alexander, Dazed and Confused).

Paku
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Re: 598 World on a Wire

#77 Post by Paku » Wed Nov 16, 2011 4:40 am

Jeff wrote:Did anyone ever determine if this was shot 25fps? If so, will that necessitate a 1080i transfer, and how does that effect bitrate?

Either way, Criterion has been routinely putting four and a half to five hours of HD content on discs for a while now with no sign of compression problems (Kes, Close-up, Stagecoach, Blow Out, Fanny and Alexander, Dazed and Confused).
With most of those the additional runtime is in the extras, which don't require as high of a bitrate. And as for Fanny & Alexander, I haven't gotten mine yet, but looking at the captures that have been posted, the TV version definitely suffered for it with compression artifacts often replacing the grain. It was a bad choice in my opinion.

Everything points to World on a Wire being 25fps:

- Berlin Alexanderplatz was.
- The cited 212 minute runtime is roughly the NTSC slowdown equivalent of the original 206 minutes.
- According to this page, the digital format of the restored version is 2K PAL, essentially HD at 25fps. No reson to do that if it was 24fps originally.

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cdnchris
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Re: 598 World on a Wire

#78 Post by cdnchris » Wed Nov 16, 2011 11:53 am

There is compression in the TV version of Fanny and Alexander, and it's very heavy in darker sequences. Motion artifacts are also occasionally an issue. The theatrical version doesn't have the same problems when you compare similar scenes.

Of course what Criterion will probably do is give more room for the film and less for the supplements, which is what they usually do with their single-disc releases, which usually works out okay.

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Minkin
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Re: 598 World on a Wire

#79 Post by Minkin » Wed Feb 01, 2012 7:07 am


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Professor Wagstaff
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Re: 598 World on a Wire

#80 Post by Professor Wagstaff » Wed Feb 08, 2012 1:58 am


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Oedipax
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Re: 598 World on a Wire

#81 Post by Oedipax » Wed Feb 08, 2012 8:40 pm

Thank goodness Criterion got rid of the awful noise reduction on the previous bluray. I think Gary's review is actually far too understated about the huge difference this makes! Bravo, Criterion.

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Tribe
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Re: 598 World on a Wire

#82 Post by Tribe » Wed Feb 29, 2012 4:55 pm

A comment left on the Criterion Current regarding World On a Wire:
Goddamn you Criterion, just received this film, why in the hell is it divided on 2 discs? Crappy edition, you suck! Next time i will fuckin download somewhere instead of buying your horrible editions. You release a cheesy flick like Godzilla and you do it on digipack and shit. Next you do a Fassbinder film on a lousy package and with a freakin´division. You just earned boycott from another loyal customer... You don´t care? I bet you will!
Not sure whether it is tongue in cheek...or just idiocy...or mere drunkenness.

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Re: 598 World on a Wire

#83 Post by cdnchris » Wed Feb 29, 2012 4:58 pm

It's two episodes, though, right? Why the hell wouldn't they split it up over two discs on the DVD. The guy must love compression noise.

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RossyG
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Re: 598 World on a Wire

#84 Post by RossyG » Fri Mar 02, 2012 10:01 am

You release a cheesy flick like Godzilla and you do it on digipack and shit.
Is 'shit' in this sentence a noun or verb?

Does he mean that they released Godzilla in a digipack and then did a shit or did he mean that the Godzilla disc came in a packaging that combined a digipack with excrement? He doesn't make it very clear.

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HistoryProf
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Re: 598 World on a Wire

#85 Post by HistoryProf » Mon Jun 04, 2012 9:53 pm

so my father is a sci fi junkie, but not much of a foreign film aficionado...though he's certainly seen many in his 66 years. He counts 2001 and Blade Runner among his favorite films of all time. Not having seen this myself (but buying it from Amazon this week since it's on sale), I wonder if anyone thinks it's a good gift to give a sci fi fan who's probably never heard of Fassbinder? He knows very well about Criterion and owns quite a few himself (told me he just bought Godzilla, for instance), so he may have noticed it. I just thought it might make a cool Father's Day gift and I like to get him things he wouldn't normally have considered since he can already buy everything he knows he likes. thoughts?

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warren oates
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Re: 598 World on a Wire

#86 Post by warren oates » Mon Jun 04, 2012 10:55 pm

Probably not. I'm a huge fan of sci-fi and of Fassbinder and World on a Wire disappointed me on both fronts. Notable only for being colorfully shot and ahead of its time ideawise. Somebody like your father would likely prefer the Ballhaus-produced Hollywood remake The Thirteenth Floor. What about Solaris instead, assuming he's not seen it?

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Re: 598 World on a Wire

#87 Post by Zot! » Mon Jun 04, 2012 11:20 pm

Alphaville is a nice one, or even Westworld? There's another late-era Fassbinder sci-fi thing where he's wearing a leopard print suit...I don't think he directed it, but I remember it being pretty poor.

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Re: 598 World on a Wire

#88 Post by beamish13 » Mon Jun 04, 2012 11:24 pm

Zot! wrote:Alphaville is a nice one, or even Westworld? There's another late-era Fassbinder sci-fi thing where he's wearing a leopard print suit...I don't think he directed it, but I remember it being pretty poor.
The immortal KAMIKAZE '89, which features a discotheque that doubles as a gun range and Fassbinder humping a life-size poster of one of the Apollo astronauts.

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Sam T.
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Re: 598 World on a Wire

#89 Post by Sam T. » Tue Jun 05, 2012 1:29 pm

I think World on a Wire would be great for him. I was blown away by it personally, but you should keep in mind the following.

It's pretty low-tech and seems *very* dated by modern sf standards (though not nearly as much as Godzilla).
It's longer and more slowly paced than most sf; the pacing is comparable to 2001, but not nearly as "bad" in this respect as Solaris. It is more talky and less image or action driven than any of these movies.
It's a bit gayer than any of these too. Not explicitly so, but
SpoilerShow
there are occasionally shirtless guys standing around in the background for no particular reason.
I'm sure there are some 60+ year olds who would be bothered by this.

Anyway, it's a little campy, but it's great. Fassbinder is as clever in his use of the 1.33 frame as any director ever, IMO, and watching him frame stuff specifically for tv is a joy in itself.

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Re: 598 World on a Wire

#90 Post by Lemmy Caution » Tue Jun 05, 2012 3:56 pm

I'd rec WonaW for him with the caveat that it's almost 3.5 hours.
I felt things slowed down in the second half.

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HistoryProf
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Re: 598 World on a Wire

#91 Post by HistoryProf » Tue Jun 05, 2012 9:06 pm

Thanks for all the feedback...I'm personally a huge fan of RWF so was excited at the possibility of introducing dear old dad to him. He's not your typical old fogey by any means, and the gay thing would be as much a non-issue as it could possibly be (in the 70s we had a bumper sticker in the middle of our fridge reading "The Moral Majority is Neither" - so not exactly uptight politically). As I said, his favorite films are 2001 and Blade Runner, he really liked the Solaris Remake and i'm not sure if he's bought the Criterion or not so that's why I was leaning towards WoaW. Other films atop his favorites are Silent Running, Re-Animator, anything Twin Peaks, Fahrenheit 451, Star Trek the Movie (which he took me to a midnight showing of when I was 10 so he could see it opening night), and so on and so forth. He grew up reading those double feature paper backs in the 1950s that had blue/red spines with one book on one side and another on the reverse (which I coincidentally read a bunch of as a kid in the 70s) - he still has hundreds of them in his basement and I love to take them out and look at them.

So basically he's a huge fan of the genre going all the way back to its origins and it just seems like something he would appreciate. I guess my main question was how "Fassbindery" it is, as his tendency towards non acting and unconventional story telling is the one thing that might put him off...as wide read and viewed as he is, he's still a guy who likes a plot he can follow for the most part (though his twin peaks addiction certainly indicates a willingness to push some boundaries). So if anyone can speak to where this fits in RWF's canon and how it relates to something like Effi Briest or Bitter Tears of PVK (or even Ali FEtS - which is one of my favorite films of all time) I would be most grateful. My impression is that this is a bit of a departure for him in more than just shifting genres since it was made for TV.

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zedz
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Re: 598 World on a Wire

#92 Post by zedz » Tue Jun 05, 2012 10:04 pm

Well, it's a Fassbinder film through and through, but it doesn't have a particularly strong connection to the films you mention. The subject matter really distances it from a lot of his more straightforwardly melodramatic work, but the films it "feels like" to me are the more nightmarish ones like Chinese Roulette (which might even outdo this in the 'glistening surfaces' stakes), The Third Generation and Fox and His Friends. It's one of the outliers in his body of work, so any or all of these comparisons might be misleading!

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Re: 598 World on a Wire

#93 Post by bainbridgezu » Tue Jun 05, 2012 10:14 pm

HistoryProf wrote:So basically he's a huge fan of the genre going all the way back to its origins and it just seems like something he would appreciate. I guess my main question was how "Fassbindery" it is, as his tendency towards non acting and unconventional story telling is the one thing that might put him off...as wide read and viewed as he is, he's still a guy who likes a plot he can follow for the most part (though his twin peaks addiction certainly indicates a willingness to push some boundaries). So if anyone can speak to where this fits in RWF's canon and how it relates to something like Effi Briest or Bitter Tears of PVK (or even Ali FEtS - which is one of my favorite films of all time) I would be most grateful. My impression is that this is a bit of a departure for him in more than just shifting genres since it was made for TV.
I watched World on a Wire when it first went up on Hulu, and don't remember it being too "Fassbinder-y" (in the "alienating" sense). Some of the acting might be a little stilted, but makes sense contextually (think Ian Holm's performance in Alien). It's certainly not the Brechtian non-acting present in some of his other films (The American Soldier being an extreme example). The story isn't really hard to follow once you know what's going on, and there are no narrative time-jumps (Bitter Tears, Fox and His Friends). Visually, as with Fassbinder's best work, each composition is fascinatingly packed with information. The film is much less static than something like Petra von Kant (naturally, given the latter's source)--there's even a car chase! As for your father's appreciation of Twin Peaks, there are some scenes and locations in the film which are positively Lynchian in their nonchalant strangeness. It's a great work which comes alive through its atmosphere and ideas, both grounded in Fassbinder's brilliantly constructed images, and, given the other films you've mentioned (2001, Blade Runner, Solaris), I'd say a safe bet.

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warren oates
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Re: 598 World on a Wire

#94 Post by warren oates » Tue Jun 05, 2012 10:29 pm

I think World On A Wire is too Fassbinder-y, but not in the glorious way that works so well in all of his very best films. And it's that stuff that's at odds with the storytelling. Such that the work feels meandering and bloated, too long by at least an hour. The aspect that seems to click with Fassbinder's natural inclinations the most is the protagonist's increasing sense of subjective disorientation. But it's not anything close to as compelling as, say, Ali: Fear Eats the Soul or Berlin Alexanderplatz.

What about getting your father a book instead? I just got a copy of John Scalzi's Red Shirts, which I haven't read yet, though it's getting raves. Also by Scalzi is Old Man's War. Then there's The Forever War/Forever Peace by Haldeman if he doesn't know them. Or even something like a Steven Millhauser short story collection, Dangerous Laughter or We Others. Millhauser's my favorite fiction discovery in the last few years, period, more like an American suburban Kafka than anything, but not so dark. A bit like Calvino sometimes but more substantial, authentically mysterious and less intellectual.

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bainbridgezu
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Re: 598 World on a Wire

#95 Post by bainbridgezu » Tue Jun 05, 2012 10:59 pm

warren oates wrote:I think World On A Wire is too Fassbinder-y, but not in the glorious way that works so well in all of his very best films. And it's that stuff that's at odds with the storytelling. Such that the work feels meandering and bloated, too long by at least an hour. The aspect that seems to click with Fassbinder's natural inclinations the most is the protagonist's increasing sense of subjective disorientation.
For me, anything in World on a Wire that could be perceived as meandering or bloated is integral to both the protagonist's subjective view and the film's philosophical conceit: How do you fabricate a world "real" enough that its (approximately) human inhabitants won't be alerted to its falseness? By submerging them in a dull, disorientating environment, characterized by vague menace (the near-constant droning of the soundtrack).

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warren oates
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Re: 598 World on a Wire

#96 Post by warren oates » Tue Jun 05, 2012 11:15 pm

That sounds awesome. Almost exactly like the film I wish I'd seen.

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Paul Moran
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Re: 598 World on a Wire

#97 Post by Paul Moran » Wed Jun 06, 2012 6:59 pm

warren oates wrote:What about getting your father a book instead?
Why not get him the book: Daniel F. Galouye's "Simulacron-3" (1964), better known as "Counterfeit World" in the UK. Of course, if he is, like me, a "huge fan of the [SF] genre going all the way back to its origins", he may already have it in his collection.

And to respond to Sam T's no doubt tongue in cheek post, I'm 63 years old, and I wasn't bothered in the slightest by the sight of "shirtless guys standing around in the background for no particular reason". In fact, I don't even remember noticing them - but then it would probably take a gang of shirtless women in the background to distract my eyes from the foreground! However, I've only seen the Second Sight DVD version so far - perhaps these bare-chested guys are more obvious in the Criterion blu-ray edition (which I hope to pick up in the next B&N Criterion sale).

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Re: 598 World on a Wire

#98 Post by Mr. Ned » Fri Aug 31, 2012 5:27 am

I thought this was excellent for the first two hours and then it lost its steam. Maybe it didn't help that I watched the interview on the first disc halfway through that inadvertently ruined the payoff for me. All of Fassbinder's usual tropes are here -- mirrors, reflections, surveillance, framing, some fetching camera movements -- but it doesn't unsettle or engage quite like some of his best (Bitter Tears, Ali, Beware a Holy Whore). I also didn't find the film particularly deep philosophically: what is real, what is simulation, identity is socially constructed and induces neuroticism and paranoia, blah blah. I agree with warren oates that this could have been trimmed down, perhaps to half its length, and it might have been more memorable. It's still nice CC takes the time to release things like this; anyone know if there is more Fassbinder on the horizon?

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SpiderBaby
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Re: 598 World on a Wire

#99 Post by SpiderBaby » Fri Aug 31, 2012 10:47 am

Mr. Ned wrote:anyone know if there is more Fassbinder on the horizon?
Hopefully Lili Marleen (been rumored a while back).

Also Janus picked up all of the OOP Wellspring titles:

The American soldier
Beware Of A Holy Whore
The Bitter Tears Of Petra Von Kant
Chinese Roulette
Effi Briest
Fear Of Fear
Fox And His Friends
Gods Of The Plague
Love Is Colder Than Death
The Merchant Of Four Seasons
Mother Kusters Goes To Heaven
Satan's Brew

In addition to that, there should be a re-issue of The BRD Trilogy to look forward to.

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Re: 598 World on a Wire

#100 Post by j99 » Wed Sep 05, 2012 7:07 pm

zedz wrote:Well, it's a Fassbinder film through and through, but it doesn't have a particularly strong connection to the films you mention.
Yes, and I don't think it's particularly sci-fi either, certainly not in the Blade Runner meaning of the term. To me it's a Fassbinder film with a tenuous sci-fi backdrop, if that makes any sense!

Btw HistoryProf did you go ahead and get your dad World On A Wire?

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