World on a Wire
When: Oct. 14-16
Where: The Belcourt
World on a Wire, a recently restored two-part miniseries by the great German filmmaker Rainer Werner Fassbinder, is what we like to call a can't-miss affair. Even if you don't think you have nearly four hours to devote to a foreign repertory film from the 1970s, you should definitely make room for this one in your schedule. Not only does it fly by — its pacing is more televisual than cinematic in many respects — as you become more and more absorbed by its plot mechanics and unique patterns of paranoia, it also is a film that feels somehow inevitable in your viewing, a missing link that should have been there all along.
An adaptation of the novel Simulacron 3 by New Orleans sci-fi writer Daniel Galouye, World on a Wire is a techno-procedural following the plight of cyber-scientist Fred Stiller (Klaus Löwitsch) as he discovers that his project — a self-sufficient, artificial computer universe, devised for market forecasting — may hold far more sinister ramifications than those around him are willing to acknowledge. Bottom line: In 1973, Fassbinder had already drawn the blueprint for Blade Runner, The Matrix, Inception, and many other films besides. He got there first, did it better — and did it much, much weirder.
Read the full review here. (Oh, and note that the trailer was cut by Nashville Film Festival visitor Damon Packard, of Reflections of Evil fame, while the national release poster is by local graphic artist Sam Smith.)