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Review: World On a Wire

A philosophical mystery thriller
By PETER KEOUGH  |  September 6, 2011
3.5 3.5 Stars

Rainer Werner Fassbinder made so many great movies in his 37 years that he was able to slip in a three-and-a-half hour made-for-TV masterpiece with hardly anyone noticing. This adaptation of Daniel F. Galouye's novel long predates The Matrix and Inception with its illusory meta world, and it brings the concept to life without special effects. Instead, it does it all with mirrors, literally — scads of them stud the dreamy mise-en-scène, reflecting the subtly exaggerated features of the cast, all evoking a presentiment of madness. When the previous programmer dies mysteriously, scientist Fred Stiller (Klaus Löwitsch) takes over control of "Simulacron," a computer that simulates an electronic mini-world consisting of thousands of "identity units" who think they are living in the real thing. Sci-fi verges on noir as Stiller investigates his predecessor's death, making for a philosophical mystery thriller done with self-conscious camp and insouciant profundity.

  Topics: Reviews , Rainer Werner Fassbinder, sci-fi, thriller,  More more >
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