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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Juan Carlos
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 2:34 pm

Re: 598 World on a Wire

#101 Post by Juan Carlos » Sun Nov 11, 2012 4:18 pm

Little question...MAJOR SPOILERS ABOUT THE ENDING.
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Final crane-shot. As the camera gets farther away from the dead body on top of the car, near the top-left of center of the frame, you'll see the body of a dead woman on the ground. White blouse stained with blood. Is it Gloria, Barbara Valentin's character? Last time we recognizably see her is a few moments before, on the roof of the building with Gunter Lamprecht on a horn, defending Stiller. Yet she is never shot at, nor thrown off the building.

Is her death in the novel? Has it been edited out of the film?
Am I seeing things? Trapped in a simulation of reality?

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manicsounds
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Re: 598 World on a Wire

#102 Post by manicsounds » Tue Dec 10, 2013 7:53 am

The end credits sound very crackly. I was a bit surprised that Criterion didn't seem to remove the faulty audio of the music when the film itself sounded great.

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aox
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Re: 598 World on a Wire

#103 Post by aox » Fri Aug 28, 2015 2:11 pm

I watched this last night for the first time. It was also my first introduction to Fassbinder. I was completely mystified by the film and impressed with his unique use of the camera. I find it shocking that this isn't mentioned in critical top Sci-fi film lists more often. It's already top-10 for me of all time. I couldn't help but notice how it was aped by films like The Matrix, LOST (TV) and Inception. But that can't be, right? At least in regard to the former (released in 1999), because WoaW was lost for decades? This film seems so ahead of its time. I certainly thought the first section was stronger and the latter section could have been 40min shorter, though I wasn't complaining. I had read the second section almost kills this film, but I personally loved it.
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1. Was the boy in rags that followed him in the market important to the story? It seemed odd to me.
2. The bricks falling on the woman and crushing her. He leaps out of the way. We can assume that it is the people controlling his world who are trying to eliminate him right?


3. I sadly watched the CC DVD and not the CC BD. I notice the film is on one disc on the BD. Is the film still chopped in two? Or is the middle credit sequence removed and the film flows seamlessly?

What a great discovery.

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CSM126
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Re: 598 World on a Wire

#104 Post by CSM126 » Fri Aug 28, 2015 2:50 pm

The BD has a play all option (which is at the top of the menu) and options to watch either episode separately (farther down the menu).

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swo17
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Re: 598 World on a Wire

#105 Post by swo17 » Fri Aug 28, 2015 2:53 pm

But I don't believe the credits in the middle are removed when you select "play all."

Zot!
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Re: 598 World on a Wire

#106 Post by Zot! » Fri Aug 28, 2015 3:40 pm

I have no complaints about having to listen to Albatross again. Agreed, this really is a key Sci-Fi film, and I prefer it to Solaris, which gets a lot more attention...though not Stalker.

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aox
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Re: 598 World on a Wire

#107 Post by aox » Fri Aug 28, 2015 4:06 pm

Zot! wrote:I have no complaints about having to listen to Albatross again. Agreed, this really is a key Sci-Fi film, and I prefer it to Solaris, which gets a lot more attention...though not Stalker.
I was thinking exactly the same thing. Stalker is still my favorite, but I might even prefer this to Solaris. I need to rewatch WoaW a few more times though.

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colinr0380
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Re: 598 World on a Wire

#108 Post by colinr0380 » Sat Aug 29, 2015 5:25 am

aox, you also might want to take a look at the US remake of World on a Wire, The Thirteenth Floor, which also came out the same year as The Matrix.

And if you want something even more genre-bending, it might also be worth reading Koji Suzuki's cycle of Ring novels. The first one of course is very famous now, but the sequels go into other areas:
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While Sadako's curse in the original Ring novel is horror-themed, the second book Spiral is more of a medical thriller that takes the same premise into Parasite Eve-style territory of the original death curse being a kind of 'DNA rebellion' that is set to envelop the entire world (it is also influenced a bit by Videodrome in the way that the cursed tape has metastasised into a cancerous growth, which is what has been killing people and giving them hallucinations of Sadako as they die). Then the third book, Loop, turns sci-fi and it turns out that the events in the previous two books are all set inside a World on a Wire style simulated virtual world created by a bereaved man to understand an apocalyptic cancer affecting all organic life on the planet by studying the progression of a virus amongst a controlled population and working out why some are immune. Loop also allows the 'creator' to hop down into the world and inhabit the bodies of various characters (which allows him to revisit key events from the previous two books from a different perspective), which feels like an idea that was very influenced by this same Simulacron-3 source material.

Inevitably the films have been much more enamoured by the horror take provided by the original Ring book to do the genre-hopping thing for sequels (when you have a monster clambering out of a television, you don't want to really throw that away for a medical thriller!), although Spiral (aka Rasen) did get a film adaptation made at the same time as Hideo Nakata's original Ring film (featuring appearances from Miki Nakatani and Hiroyuki Sanada briefly reprising their character roles) which was released concurrently and apparently flopped. Understandably so as it is rather slow paced (much more in the vein of the director Joji Ida's Another Heaven film that he made afterwards, though also it is tonally similar to the 1997 Parasite Eve film too. Lots of conversations, not too much action, extended running time) and completely running counter to anyone's expectations from the original Ring. The failure of that apparently was the impetous behind Nakata doing Ring 2, which more 'logically' continues events from the first Ring in the same horror vein.
Last edited by colinr0380 on Sun Mar 27, 2016 8:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Antarctica
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Re: 598 World on a Wire

#109 Post by Antarctica » Sat Mar 26, 2016 7:39 pm

This was my introduction to Fassbinder. I enjoyed it, but felt it could have been shorter. I mostly liked the strange sets and makeup and clothes on female characters. Which Fassbinder should I watch next? What are some of odder films of his?

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knives
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Re: 598 World on a Wire

#110 Post by knives » Sat Mar 26, 2016 7:44 pm

The BRD is a safe next though if you want brief Fassbinder the films in the eclipse set fit the bill right. Despair, his only english language title, is a fairly weird The Double inspired adaptation of a Nabakov novel and probably his most willfully unconventional I've seen aside from the epilogue of Berlin Alexanderplatz.

Zot!
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Re: 598 World on a Wire

#111 Post by Zot! » Sat Mar 26, 2016 9:05 pm

Well, if you're just looking for odd, any of those mid period films like Whitey or something similar woud satisfy. IF you're just looking for camp, you might try his starring role in Kamikazee '89. If you're looking for his best period, the afformentioned BRD films or Bitter Tears are very good.

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Lemmy Caution
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Re: 598 World on a Wire

#112 Post by Lemmy Caution » Sun Mar 27, 2016 12:26 am

In a Year with 13 Moons

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Lost Highway
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Re: 598 World on a Wire

#113 Post by Lost Highway » Mon Mar 28, 2016 4:52 am

Antarctica wrote:This was my introduction to Fassbinder. I enjoyed it, but felt it could have been shorter. I mostly liked the strange sets and makeup and clothes on female characters. Which Fassbinder should I watch next? What are some of odder films of his?
Ali: Fear Eats the Soul is Fassbinder's most accessible film, it's the film which first put him on the map internationally, it's relatively short and I think it's a great introduction to his work. It's one of the greatest films of the 70s. Of his later films I think Veronika Voss is the best in the BRD trilogy and another one of his more accessible films.

Don't go on next to Whity or Despair. ;)

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colinr0380
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Re: 598 World on a Wire

#114 Post by colinr0380 » Mon Mar 28, 2016 8:44 am

I remember a short segment from one of Channel 4's last gasps at making a film magazine show in the late 90s called Kiss Kiss Bang Bang in which Julie Christie spent a couple of minutes talking about Ali: Fear Eats The Soul being one of her favourite films, if that helps!

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dadaistnun
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Re: 598 World on a Wire

#115 Post by dadaistnun » Mon May 06, 2019 3:29 pm

My first Fassbinder was Querelle. It was around 30 years ago, I was in high school, and all I remember of it is the color yellow. I've largely avoided RWF over the years, mostly because I've been intimidated my his huge filmography. World on a Wire, in effect, is my real introduction to him. I picked this up during one of the sales having been intrigued by the praise here and elsewhere, as well as the amazing stills, yet it remained in the kevyip for a few years.

This was a blast, a never boring 3.5 hours of continuously inventive camerawork (that tracking shot at the cabin mentioned upthread - wow!) and a slowly but surely rising level of mindfuckery. If some of the plot machinations seem a little old hat at this point, it's only due to it relatively belated exposure to a wider audience. I've seen The Matrix mentioned in reviews of the film, but having not seen that one the most relevant progeny to me is eXistenZ with its ever-shifting levels of realities.

The ending was surprisingly moving,
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with the blinds opening, Fred and Eva embracing, and the cutting back and forth between dead-insurgent Fred Stiller and the real (?) one.
I really appreciated the end credits with the shot of actors to accompany their names. I can be terrible with names - I find myself wishing every film with large cast did this!

Loving this, but knowing it is something of an outlier for Fassbinder, I moved on the Petra von Kant next...

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colinr0380
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Re: 598 World on a Wire

#116 Post by colinr0380 » Wed Nov 27, 2019 4:11 am

The great Are Sounds Electrik? YouTube channel has just put up a music video set to World on a Wire.

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barryconvex
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Re: 598 World on a Wire

#117 Post by barryconvex » Mon Dec 02, 2019 1:52 am

In response to some of the older posts, should anyone have any interest, the title that gets discussed the least out of Fassbinder's available (I'm referring to everything that has or had at least a dvd release) catalog is Satan's Brew. The scenario itself is really nothing too unusual-Fassbinder channeling a Sirk version of a 50s style family melodrama. But what a family this is. Kurt Raab is in full on lunatic mode for the entire film as he tries to provide for his merry band of misfits as an anarchist writer. I haven't seen it in years so details are hazy but I think one of his children does nothing but sit at the kitchen table all day droning "fuck flies, fuck flies..." while trying to catch them with a net. I'm not positive about that last part though. This has always struck me as RWF's strangest hour and an outlier in his oeuvre. Although I do remember enjoying it.

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