Recommended for You: Lynn Hershman Leeson on World on A Wire

Loreta Lamargese

Still from Rainer Werner Fassbinder's World on A Wire.

Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s World on A Wire (1973) lays bare a dystopic future wherein paranoia runs rampant, amplified by a vision of boundless screens and shot in a medley of pans, zooms and frenetic cuts. Originally produced for German television, the film went nearly unwatched until this decade, when it was digitally remastered and made available to an American audience currently occupying an absurd world nearing the film’s prognosis. Lynn Hershman Leeson was the perfect audience member to await its theatrical première; beginning in the 1980s, her own ecstatic and agitated propositions for both concrete and virtual worlds filled the void the film’s absence once occupied.

What is your favorite movie?  Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s World on A Wire.

How do you apply the idea of “favorite” here? Prescient, overlooked, visionary, implicates the audience in the future.

If you were putting together a double feature, what movie would you play alongside this one and why? My 2010 film Teknolust or Andrew Niccol’s Gattaca (1997).

How, if at all, has the movie inspired you in art-making? The riveting beauty of the moving image and the uncanny, underlying essence that is subtly revealed.