Although World On A Wire was Fassbinder's only work of science fiction, its themes of artificial intelligence and alternate realities became a precursor for more mainstream films such as Blade Runner and The Matrix. But World On A Wire is every bit as stylish - albeit in an art-house way - as well as perhaps more of a basic philosophical mind game about technology and progress.
To start, I think that World On A Wire looks very good. But that comes with some qualifications. Grain is kept intact and heavy throughout, but there are moments where it's so thick as to be static. Most of the film is on the soft side, with many scenes - perhaps where only one take was available for editing - where sharpness is very stretched, and creates awkward cuts within scenes. Almost all of these instances, however, look obviously to be source issues instead of anything restoration-related. In fact, that we have this movie at all and that it looks this good is impressive. Source issues should also be held in light of the fact that we're looking at a film created for television, and also one that was made in an impressively compact span of time for it's length.
There is only one audio track, which is an LPCM 1.0 German language track with English subtitles. The audio here is preserved very well, with an impressive depth and clarity for a mono track, especially with the early synthesizer cues. There is obviously no channel separation to speak of, but this is a strong 1.0 track. Dialogue comes through clear and clean, and effects and environmental noise are kept very well balanced. Even Fleetwood Mac's ambient instrumental "Albatross" - which becomes the default movie theme - is still richly evocative here.
There are two main supplemental features included with the disc. The first is a documentary entitled "Fassbinder's 'World On A Wire': Looking Ahead To Today" (HD, 50:39) which includes interviews with Fritz Müller-Scherz, Fassbinder's co-screenwriter on the film; Karl-Heinz Vosgerau, who played company head Herbert Siskins; and Michael Ballhaus, who was director of photography on the film. The interviewees shed some light on how the film came to be, Fassbinder's directorial style, and how he arrived at the overall look and tone of the film.