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Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s World on a Wire on Blu-ray in February

8 January 2019

Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s dystopian sci-fi epic World on a Wire was way ahead of its time, with fascinating themes that would later be explored in films such as The Matrix, Blade Runner, and TV series like Westworld. Now this hugely influential classic arrives as a stunningly restored Limited Edition Blu-ray Box Set from Second Sight in February, with outstanding new special features and a 50-page booklet.

Originally created for TV by the radical and often controversial filmmaker, it centres around Simulacron 1, a highly advanced project designed to elevate conventional computer technology to a new level by creating a virtual reality, inhabited by computer generated people or ‘identity units’. When the head of the project dies mysteriously, Dr Stiller (Klaus Löwitsch – Firefox, Cross of Iron) becomes his successor. As the new doctor begins to probe deeper, the line between the real and virtual worlds become increasingly blurred and his own existence comes into question.

Also starring Barbara Valentin (Body in the Web, Our Man in Jamaica) and Mascha Rabben (Salome, The Sensuous Three), Fassbinder’s science fiction masterpiece has a rare and well-deserved 100% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Slant Magazine says it’s ‘a fascinating and dynamic film, packed with intriguing ideas and soaked in a moody ambience,’ exploring themes as relevant as ever to our swiftly technologically advancing world.

This new restoration, supervised by The Rainer Werner Fassbinder Foundation and cinematographer Michael Ballhaus (Goodfellas, The Departed), comes 45 years after its initial release and still pushes audiences to question the world around them.

World on a Wire Blu-ray cover art

Described by the New Yorker as "An astonishing display of precocious cinematic virtuosity" and Filmcomment.com as "Nothing short of a gale-force blast from futures past," World on a Wire [Welt am Draht] will be released on UK Blu-ray on 18 February 2019 by Second Sight at the RRP of £29.99.

Special features:

  • No Strings Attached – an interview with assistant director Renate Leiffer
  • Observing Fassbinder – a tribute to photographer Peter Gauhe
  • Looking Ahead to Today documentary
  • On-set featurette
  • Original Broadcast Recap
  • The Simulation Argument – an interview with Professor Nick Bostrom
  • Rigid slipcase packaging
  • 50-page perfect-bound booklet featuring new essays by Anton Bitel and Daniel Bird, archival writing by Daniel Oberhaus and Christian Braad Thomsen, stills and rare on-set photos by Peter Gauhe