Search - The Way Things Go on DVD

The Way Things Go
The Way Things Go
Actor: -
Director: David Weiss (II);Peter Fischli
Genres: Documentary
NR     2002     0hr 30min

THE WAY THINGS GO is a film by "the merry pranksters of contemporary art" (New York Times) renowned Swiss artists Peter Fischli & David Weiss, that chronicles the lifespan of their most famous kinetic sculpture as it amazi...  more »


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Movie Details

Actor: -
Director: David Weiss (II);Peter Fischli
Genres: Documentary
Sub-Genres: Documentary
Studio: First Run Features
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 03/19/2002
Theatrical Release Date: 02/12/2002
Release Year: 2002
Run Time: 0hr 30min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Young children love it but it is for all ages
christinemm - The Thinking Mother | Connecticut, United States | 09/06/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)

"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)."
Simply amazing
wiredweird | Earth, or somewhere nearby | 01/25/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"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."
"Der Lauf der Dinge" (its true title) ist ausgezeichnet!
cookieman108 | 08/16/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I'm buying this because I lost the copy I recorded from television 12 years ago!This film is an extremely imaginative course of physical events arranged in a Rube Goldberg type of chain reaction... using a the entire variety of physical states: solid, liquid, gas, and transitions between them, to keep the reaction going. Use it to stimulate the imagination of youngsters, or to interest them in physics, but make sure that they understand not to play with fire the way it's played with in this video!Note: Please leave "Der Lauf der Dinge" in the summary... your search engine couldn't find this phrase, and it's the name that most people use for this video."
I shall never look at an old pair of shoes the same...
cookieman108 | Inside the jar... | 03/28/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"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. It could also me a valuable tool in an art class, as it shows the simplistic beauty that can be drawn from very commonplace objects arranged in such a way to illustrate lifecycles through normally inanimate objects.

I enjoyed this short piece a lot (it runs 30 minutes), as I found myself constantly trying to guess what was going to happen next (synapses firing...mind stimulated...brain functioning...), and often trying to figure out what just happened. Most of the time the events were relatively easy to follow, but ingenuous in their simplicity. The camera work here is strictly for utilitarian purposes, following the seemingly constant reaction (the spark of life, if you will) and there is no music, but only the occasional sound effect from the noisier reactions. I do agree with some of the other reviewers that there may have been some cheating going on here (`hands on' manipulation), as sometimes the camera moves forward when a particular reaction seems not to have produced the intended result, but often, during the more precarious events, the artists appeared to have understood the possibility of failure, and worked contingencies within the set up. Even if they did supply some assistance in the form of tricky camera work, I'm willing to cut them a great deal of slack as it's the ideas presented within that I found fascinating, the intricate, linear chain of events that must have taken a great deal of time to plan, test, and produce.

As I said, the feature piece runs 30 minutes, and there are a couple of extra features like biographies of the artists and a little text regarding the actions in the film. I would have liked to see a little more, perhaps a scientific commentary track delineating the principals involved during the sequences within the film, but maybe it's better there's not one, as it may pique someone's curiosity enough to try and learn more about it for themselves. I am interested in some of those chemical reactions, specifically the ones that created a great deal of foam, as I often find myself in need of ideas for practical jokes (leave it to me to take something beautiful and twist it for my own, devious means). The price seems a bit hefty for the DVD, but the replay value is here, so I think I'll get my moneys worth.