Sunday 24 February 2013
Welt am Draht / World on a Wire (PART I)
Directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder, (1973)
Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s visionary science-fiction thriller originally made for German television in 1973.
[World on a Wire is] a 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. FassbinderBased on Daniel F. Galouye's novel "Simulacron Three" Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s 2 part TV production is a science-fiction classic that explores the notion of a computer-generated other world, pre-dating The Matrix by 26 years. Since its original broadcast in 1973 it has rarely been seen and following increasing demand the Fassbinder Foundation have restored this remarkable film.
Simulacron 1 is a highly advanced project, designed to take computer technology to a new level by creating another world inhabited by computer-generated people or ‘identity units’ that will help to predict future events. When the head of the project dies mysteriously after showing signs of mental disturbance, Dr Stiller becomes his successor. However, Stiller also begins to behave bizarrely. He speaks of people disappearing whom no one else knows, believes someone is trying to murder him and has nausea attacks. As he begins to probe deeper into Simulacron, the line between the real and virtual world becomes increasingly blurred and his own existence is questioned.