log in / register

World on a Wire

Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Welt am Draht
FRG 1973 / 212’

Advanced technology enables creation of realities populated by virtual beings unaware of their origins. Since illusion is so perfect, is it possible that the world of film characters exists only inside the computer? What if successive levels of fiction continue infinitely like fractals? These questions drive the main character in World on a Wire to paranoia. The made-for-television film by legendary bad boy Rainer Werner Fassbinder is an adaptation of Daniel F. Galouye’s novel Simulacron-3, also later adapted into the film The Thirteenth Floor directed by Josef Rusnak. While building a vision of the future through clever production design as opposed to expensive special effects, the German director examines the idea that forms the basis of popular computer games such as Second Life or World of Warcraft.


Adolf Grimme Awards 1974 – Honorable Mention

Rainer Werner Fassbinder

German director Rainer Werner Fassbinder is a living legend and walking powder keg. He was born in 1945 and died in 1982, and became one of the most important figures in the so-called New German Cinema. Gifted with endless creative energy fueled additionally by other substances, he directed 40 feature films, two television series and 24 stage plays. Fassbinder was given to shocking audiences in life and art: he attacked German society, his stories focused on gays and outsiders while he refused to hide his homosexuality and libertine points of view. His most acclaimed films include Fear Eats the Soul (1974), The Marriage of Maria Brown (1979) and Querelle (1982). He died of a heart attack brought on by a lethal interaction of cocaine and sleeping pills.

Selected filmography

1969 Miłość jest zimniejsza niż śmierć / Liebe ist kälter als der Tod / Love Is Colder Than Death

1969 Dzieciorób / Katzelmacher

1973 Świat na drucie / Welt am Draht / World on a Wire

1974 Strach zżerać duszę / Angst essen Seele auf / Fear Eats the Soul

1981 Lili Marleen

1982 Querelle

Cast & Crew

director Rainer Werner Fassbinder
screenplay Fritz Müller-Scherz, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, based on a novel by Daniel F. Galouye
cinematography Michael Ballhaus, Ulrich Prinz
editing Ursula Elles, Marie Anne Gerhardt
music Gottfried Hüngsberg
sound Hans Pampuch, Ernst Thomas
cast Klaus Löwitsch, Barbara Valentin, Mascha Rabben, Karl Heinz Vosgerau, Wolfgang Schenck, Ulli Lommel
producer Peter Märthesheimer, Alexander Wesemann
production Westdeutscher Rundfunk
sales RWF Foundation
language German, English
colouration colour