World on a Wire Part 1
Part of the Series: World on a Wire

Janus Films (The Criterion Collection)
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World on a Wire Part 2
Part of the Series: World on a Wire
World on a Wire is a gloriously paranoid, boundlessly inventive take on the future from German wunderkind Rainer Werner Fassbinder. With dashes of Stanley Kubrick, Kurt Vonnegut, and Philip K. Dick, Fassbinder tells the noir-spiked tale of reluctant hero Fred Stiller (Klaus Lowitsch), a cybernetics engineer who uncovers a massive…
World on a Wire
World on a Wire is a gloriously paranoid, boundlessly inventive take on the future from German wunderkind Rainer Werner Fassbinder. With dashes of Stanley Kubrick, Kurt Vonnegut, and Philip K. Dick, Fassbinder tells the noir-spiked tale of reluctant hero Fred Stiller (Klaus Lowitsch), a cybernetics engineer who uncovers a massive…
Ali: Fear Eats the Soul
Rainer Werner Fassbinder, already the director of almost twenty films by the age of twenty-nine, paid homage to his cinematic hero, Douglas Sirk, with this updated version of Sirk's All That Heaven Allows. Lonely widow Emmi Kurowski (Brigitte Mira) meets Arab worker Ali (El Hedi ben Salem) in a bar…
Equinox
Before he took you to a galaxy far, far away, before he brought you face-to-face with living, breathing prehistoric beasts, Dennis Muren, the future nine-time Oscar-winning visual-effects artist (Star Wars, Jurassic Park), joined forces with a group of talented young filmmakers to create an homage to the creature features of…
The Naked City
"There are eight million stories in the Naked City," as the narrator immortally states at the close of this breathtakingly vivid film--and this is one of them. Master noir craftsman Jules Dassin and newspaperman-cum-producer Mark Hellinger's dazzling police procedural, The Naked City, was shot entirely on location in New York.…
To Be Or Not To Be
As nervy as it is hilarious, this screwball masterpiece from Ernst Lubitsch stars Jack Benny and, in her final screen appearance, Carole Lombard as husband-and-wife thespians in Nazi-occupied Warsaw who become caught up in a dangerous spy plot. To Be or Not to Be is a Hollywood film of the…
The Tin Drum
Oskar is born in Germany in 1924 with an advanced intellect. Repulsed by the hypocrisy of adults and the irresponsibility of society, he refuses to grow older after his third birthday. While the chaotic world around him careers toward the madness and folly of World War II, Oskar pounds incessantly…
The Marriage of Maria Braun
Maria (Hanna Schygulla) marries Hermann Braun in the last days of World War II, only to have him disappear in the war. Alone, Maria uses her beauty and ambition to prosper in Germany's "economic miracle" of the 1950's. Fassbinder's biggest international box-office success and the first part of his "postwar…
Beware of a Holy Whore
In Rainer Werner Fassbinder's brazen depiction of the alternating currents of lethargy and mayhem inherent in moviemaking, a film crew--played by, and not so loosely based on, his own frequent collaborators--deals with an aloof star (Eddie Constantine), an abusive director (Lou Castel), and a financially troubled production. Inspired by the…
Mala Noche
With its low budget and lush black-and-white imagery, Gus Van Sant's debut feature Mala Noche heralded an idiosyncratic, provocative new voice in American independent film. Set in Van Sant's hometown of Portland, Oregon, the film evokes a world of transient workers, dead-end day-shifters, and bars and seedy apartments bathed in…
Mystery Train
Aloof teenage Japanese tourists, a frazzled Italian widow, and a disgruntled British immigrant all converge in the city of dreams--which, in Mystery Train,from Jim Jarmusch, is Memphis. Made with its director's customary precision and wit, this triptych of stories pays playful tribute to the home of Stax Records, Sun Studio,…
The Bridge
Bernhard Wicki's astonishing The Bridge was the first major antiwar film to come out of Germany after World War II, as well as the nation's first postwar film to be widely shown internationally, even securing an Oscar nomination. Set near the end of the conflict, it follows a group of…