Current & Upcoming Films
WORLD ON A WIRE
WORLD ON A WIRE
Friday, July 29 – Thursday, August 4
A dystopic science-fiction epic, WORLD ON A WIRE is German wunderkind Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s gloriously cracked, boundlessly inventive take on future paranoia. With dashes of Kubrick, Vonnegut, and Dick, but a flavor entirely his own, Fassbinder tells the noir-spiked tale of reluctant action hero Fred Stiller (Klaus Lowitsch), a cybernetics engineer who uncovers a massive corporate and governmental conspiracy. At risk? Our entire (virtual) reality as we know it. This long unseen three-and-a-half-hour labyrinth is a satiric and surreal look at the weird world of tomorrow from one of cinema’s kinkiest geniuses. The Roxie is proud to present WORLD ON A WIRE in a stunning 35mm restoration, courtesy of Janus Films! Dir: R.W. Fassbinder. Starring Klaus Lowitsch, Barbara Valentin and Kurt Raab. West Germany. 1973. 212 min. Complete program (w/ intermission) plays nightly at 7pm, plus Saturday and Sunday at 12pm. Also, PART 1 ONLY on 7/28 at 4:30pm + PART 2 ONLY on 7/29 at 4:30pm.
ABOUT THE RESTORATION:
World on a Wire was originally made for German television (WDR) in 1973 and was shot on 16mm reversal film material (Kodak/Eastman Ectachrome). The two- part film was shot in 44 days, from January until March 1973 in Paris, Munich, and Cologne. The first German TV broadcast was on October 14, 1973 (part I) and October 16, 1973 (part II).
The new Digital Master has been taken directly from the original 16mm A/B reversal rolls: they were scanned in 2K resolution on an ARRI Film Scanner and color-corrected on a Discreet Lustre System. Thousands of instances of dirt, debris and scratches were removed by using the MIT Digital Restoration System. The entire project was done under the supervision of director of photography Michael Ballhaus.
"A textbook example of a film that was ahead of its time … a movie that anticipates Blade Runner in its meditation on artificial and human intelligence and The Matrix in its conception of reality as a computer-generated illusion." - Dennis Lim, The New York Times
"FIVE STARS! The discovery of the season, rarely screened in America but very much a key chapter in Fassbinder's story." - Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out New York
"The sheer audacity with which Fassbinder and his longtime cinematographer, Michael Ballhaus, move the camera, alighting as if by accident on resonant and complex compositions, is nothing short of breathtaking." - A.O. Scott, The New York Times
"There are movies that make news and movies that are news. World on a Wire is one of the latter. Suddenly: a virtually unknown, newly restored, two-part tele-film directed by long-gone wunderkind R.W. Fassbinder at the height of his powers." - J. Hoberman, The Village Voice
"Brilliantly sardonic … may be even more timely now than when it was made." - Richard Brody, The New Yorker
"Bridles with a pulpy energy and drive that may surprise Fassbinder devotees … this Teutonic sci-fi curio is certainly wild, weird and cool enough to qualify as one of the summer’s essential movie events." - Jason Anderson, The Grid TO
"A thoroughly exciting bit of filmmaking … a totally self-serious bit of sci-fi filmmaking that has an excellent sense of humour about itself." - John Semley, Torontoist
"A fascinating time warp of a movie, elegant in design and bubbling with ideas. It's that rare science-fiction that combines beauty and brains." - Chris Knight, The National Post