World on a Wire

From “The Matrix” to “Inception” to “Source Code,” the concept of a constructed reality is a popular trope in today’s science-fiction films, but you’ve never seen it tackled as it is in “World on a Wire.” In fact, few have.

“No one’s actually seen this before in the United States,” said Brian Belovarac of Janus Films, the New York-based distributor of the 1973 German title playing at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch.

Made as a miniseries by director Rainer Werner Fassbinder (“The Marriage of Maria Braun”), “World” received scant rebroadcast in its homeland, and legal issues kept it from being exported to our shores. According to Belovarac, it’s never been shown in the U.S. theatrically or on television, with the exception of one 1977 retrospective screening at the Museum of Modern Art, “from a ratty, incredibly beat-up print.”

In 2009, however, the trippy crime tale underwent an extensive renovation, resulting in a work that he said “looks fantastic. It’s just gorgeous.”

OKCMOA audiences will see it unspool in 35mm, which Belovarac deemed “an incredible opportunity,” so worry not about its 212-minute running time.

“First of all, there’s an intermission,” he said. “The story moves very, very fast. If people can put up with three hours of ‘Avatar’ or ‘Harry Potter’ … running times are so bloated these days for features that are maybe 20 percent as good as this.”

Tickets are $8. For more information, call 236-3100 or visit

Rod Lott

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