I have been listening to the Animal Collective remix of Welt am Draht quite a lot recently and it made me think of the Fassbinder movie of the same name. Made for TV in 1973 World On A Wire was rarely shown on television or at the movies. I remember watching it a few years back on a German Regionalprogramm. I really liked it, but it was very slow and made me a bit sleepy, which is not a bad thing. Loved the camera by Ballhaus, of course, including the mirrors placed in the sets = illusions? = divided nature? of the actors.
I found this Fassbinder quote about the movie at the MoMa site:
“very beautiful story that depicts a world where one is able to make projections of people using a computer. And, of course, this leads to the uncertainty of whether someone himself is a projection, since in the virtual world projections resemble reality. Perhaps another, larger world has made us as a virtual one? In this sense it deals with the old philosophical model, which here takes on a certain horror.”
It seems that every article on Welt am Draht has to mention the movies Matrix, eXistenZ and most recent ones also Avatar. So, there you go, I mentioned them.
A completely restored version was shown at the Berlinale earlier this year. A DVD has been released in February including English subtitles.
Barbara Valentin in Welt Am Draht (Foto: Fassbinder Foundation)