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The Way Things Go
A Film by Peter Fischli & David Weiss
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Note: A new dual format [Blu-ray and DVD] combo pack of the fully restored film will be released in April 2015! Please subscribe to our mailing list to receive a notification when the new edition becomes available.

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.

"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."—New York Times

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"'Ingenius' and 'amazing' are apt descriptions of this non-narrated Swiss production... The camera captures the finely tuned, continuous motion in this fascinating program for science students and other interested viewers."—Sue-Ellen Beauregard, Booklist

"One of the best films of 1987-88 didn't appear on anybody's top ten list. It wasn't featured on 'Siskel and Ebert' and it didn't receive a single Academy Award nomination (although it would be hard to categorize a film in which the 'best supporting' roles were foam and fire)."—Arts Magazine

"This rudimentary yet showy masterpiece would have made Picasso envious."—Flashart

"The film has an irresistible appeal... One cannot help but wonder at the work that must have been involved in each relatively simple action and reaction. How did they do it?"—Chicago Tribune

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"**** [4 Stars - Highly Recommended] The fact that this chain reaction is sustained for 30 minutes is both amusing and amazing... Viewers whose familiarity with physics is limited may miss the import of some of the clever inventions, but the artistic merits are clear... Libraries with large experimental art collections will not be disappointed."—Carole Dratch-Kovler, Video Rating Guide for Libraries

"THE WAY THINGS GO is so unique I'll be surprised if the audience doesn't demand it be shown again before leaving the theater... Every once in a while a film comes along that is so unusual that it overwhelms one - and THE WAY THINGS GO is one."—John Douglas, Grand Rapids Press

"A post-modern Rube Goldberg illustration come to life, THE WAY THINGS GO is an art title sure to impress."—Barbara Wexler, Video Business

Gold Apple, 1990 National Educational Film & Video Festival
1989 San Francisco Film Festival
1988 Berlin Film Festival
1988 Sydney Film Festival
1988 Hong Kong Film Festival

30 minutes / color
Release: 1988
Copyright: 1987
UPC: 8-54565-00159-6

This DVD is sold above for home video use only. If you require a license for institutional use or Public Performance rights, click here.

Subject areas:
Art, Business, Cinema Studies, Energy, Experimental, Physics, Science/Technology

Related Links:

Related Titles:
Two Films by Peter Fischli and David Weiss: From the artists who brought us the amazing cult classic THE WAY THINGS GO, Peter Fischli and David Weiss, come the earlier adventures of Rat and Bear!

The Point of Least Resistance

The Right Way

Art Safari: Meet the superstars of the Contemporary Art World, including Matthew Barney, Takashi Murakami and Sophie Calle, in this playful series of 8 films, along with "art geek" Ben Lewis, as he travels the world in search of great art, and art that might be great.

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Last Updated June 2, 2013
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