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The Way Things Go


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Product Details

  • Actors: Peter Fischli, David Weiss
  • Directors: Peter Fischli, David Weiss
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Icarus Films
  • DVD Release Date: December 22, 2009
  • Run Time: 30 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0031REQG8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #60,574 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Swiss artists Peter Fischli and David Weiss have collaborated on kinetic installations since 1979. All of their work to date, whether in photography, film, drawing, or sculpture, has demonstrated a deep interest in the mechanisms that animate the universe of objects.

Fischli and Weiss remove these things that surround us from their contexts in our daily lives, and then restructure their relationships to one another. The artists aim neither to glorify nor to alienate these common objects, but merely to create new references in which they might be considered.

THE WAY THINGS GO - without narration or interviews - simply records the self-destructing performance of Fischli's and Weiss' most ambitious construction: 100 feet of physical interactions, chemical reactions, and precisely crafted chaos worthy of Rube Goldberg or Alfred Hitchcock.

Review

Their masterpiece to date... Using elemental means - fire and fireworks, blasts of air, gravity, and a variety of corrosive liquids - the artists manage to sustain a chain reaction of evermore absurd materials and events for 30 minutes. --The New York Times

This masterpiece would have made Picasso envious. --Flash Art

Dazzling, amazing. Downright hypnotic! --Time Out New York

Customer Reviews

You really have to see this one to believe it.
wiredweird
It's rather long for one sitting, no plot or story line, just one unbelievable event after another keeping the chain reaction going.
Health Balances
This is a metaphore about how you can't control the way things go (beautiful, unrrepitable, chain reaction) in life..... I think.
M. B. Atrian

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

63 of 65 people found the following review helpful By ChristineMM TOP 1000 REVIEWER on September 6, 2002
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
The video is approximately 30 minutes of non-stop motion showing cause-and-effect. The background is an old factory and there is no music score or narration, just the real sounds of the fire lighting, of things dropping down and rolling, etc. A very active imagination (or imaginations) thought up the ideas of what would roll, drop, ignite, etc. to make the next thing happen. The recording is a bit amateur and sometimes the lighting is a bit dim, but the content is so fantastic and real but it doesn't matter to our family because we love it.
My family began watching this when our youngest was nearing two years old and my oldest was four: both were glued to the screen. My husband and I enjoy it as well. Our four-year-old was so inspired he wanted to create a similar and large set-up (with fire and everything) in our home! I was able to convince my son that we could not do a large set up with fire, etc. so while I was busy makign dinner, on his own he made a chain-of-events set-up out of wooden unit blocks and wooden cylinders, and toys that would roll. He called me to see his demonstration and then we had discussions about ideas of what would work, tried them and then brainstormed other ideas when it did not work. I was surprised at the creative thinking this video inspired in my four-year-old.
I am just amazed at the creativity and imagination at work in this video and that such a huge project was set up and obviously practiced many times to ensure that it would work as it was being filmed.
This is entertainment and education rolled into one. This is a welcome change for children to watch from the usual children's video programs that are available (although it is for people of all ages).
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By cookieman108 on March 28, 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The Way Things Go (1987) aka Der Lauf Der Dinge (perhaps loosely translated from German meaning The Laughing Dingo...okay, maybe not...the German I learned in high school didn't take very well) is an odd and wonderful film that I think would be well served shown in the various science and art classes one often has to take during ones stint in receiving a basic education.

In an old warehouse, artists Peter Fischli and David Weiss, who must have pillaged a local junkyard, create an extensively elaborate set up involving tires, chairs, rocket tea kettles, spray bottles, sugar cubes, old shoes, wooden ramps, small carts, garbage bags, balloons, fireworks, pools of liquid (sometimes flammable), gelatinous goo, along with other common, household items, with a result that I can only describe as a wondrous adventure in `planned chaos'. I used to do a similar thing with dominoes, spend hours lining hundreds of them up, only to watch them all fall within a matter of minutes, but this is so much more. Fischli and Weiss use all forms of matter, fire, water, and gravity to effect the forward motion (illustrated by transformations, propagation, reactions, and kinetics) of contraptions and such, resulting in constantly evolving concept of one thing leading to another, or, to put it another way, an artistic representation of cause and effect. I say it would be useful to show this in school science classes, as it's an implicit demonstration and display of the laws of thermodynamics, and presents the material in such a way that one may forget they're actually learning something, being mesmerized by the events occurring on the screen.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By wiredweird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on January 25, 2004
Format: DVD
You really have to see this one to believe it. The spinning bag unwinds its tether and gradually descends. At some point, it reaches down to a balanced tire, and gives it a gentle push ...
For about the next half hour (it seems like a lot more), each object in the chain bumps into the next, pulls the support from under it, launches a bottle-rocket into it, or somehow kicks off the next step in the chain. There must be hundreds of steps, involving flame, weighted cylinders rolling up hill, and a few episodes of oozing spooge.
The presentation is very plain, just the documentary of this incredible sequence chaining cause to effect. There is no sound track except for the noises made by the parts of this wild "machine". Even the parts themselves look like nothing special: teapots and tires, soda bottles and sugar cubes. It's the action that counts, and the time and creativity that brought it into being.
Perhaps the creators cheated at a few steps. There are some cuts in an otherwise continuous stream of action. If some purist lets that interfere with their enjoyment of the spectacle, it's their loss. If someone wants a "point" to the sequence, that's not my problem. It just is, and it's wonderful.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 19, 2004
Format: VHS Tape
If you've read the other reviews you already know what this video is about. What I'd like to add is that I am amazed every year that my sixth graders watch this video, with no dialogue or music, and are enthralled with it for the full 30 minutes. I show it after we've done an extensive motion and energy unit and simple machines unit. Before watching it I explain 3 or 4 reactions that they may not get on their own, which piques their interest. It is the one video they remember years after leaving 6th grade!
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