Brook Henkel, Associate Professor of German Studies and Digital Media & Film, recently presented new research on West German filmmaker Rainer Werner Fassbinder at the annual German Studies Association conference in Montreal, October 5-8, 2023. His talk “Fassbinder’s Simulations” focuses on the director’s 1973 film World on a Wire (Welt am Draht), one of the earliest cinematic depictions of virtual reality technologies. Pairing Fassbinder’s film with Jean Baudrillard’s early writings on simulation, the talk shows how World on a Wire critically reflects upon emerging postwar systems of surveillance and control, as well as the fate of history in the televisual age.
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