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23 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

Pull up something that will mess with your mind... other than this movie...

Author: McWoop ( from Washington
4 November 1999

You could just sit there and mezmerize at the incredible physics and chemistry at work here... it's entrancing. I loved it. There are lapses in times that allow certain chemical reactions to take place, but other than that, the entire 31 minutes or what have you is non-stop tricks and gimmicks that will have you looking at the world in quite a different way. I LOVED IT.

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9 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

A Rube Goldberg invention on video

Author: SamAdams15 from San Jose, California
28 July 2003

I've seen this amazing piece perhaps six or seven times in the course of showing it to others, and I'm always amazed every time I see it. It seems to be deceptively simple by the flawless execution of one kinetically or chemically motivated piece of junk affecting another piece of junk, but it happens only because of the hours and hours of thought and patient testing these two whimsical geniuses invested for exactly the effect they want.

It reminds me of the cartoons of Rube Goldberg, or the game of "Mousetrap", where turning a crank starts a series of cascading and improbable events which leads to catching the mouse. Rube Goldberg was well before my time, alas, but his whimsical spirit continues with wonderful works like this.

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7 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Mr. Science on acid...

Author: Huh?-2
25 February 1999

Perhaps the most mesmerizing film without actors since Ballet Mecanique. Swiss pranksters Fischli and Weiss once again present their own peculiar take on art, this time as a recorded demonstration of simple physics and chemical reactions. Gotta see it to believe it.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Wonderful...but is it Art? :-)

Author: Pleasureman from United Kingdom
24 August 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Excellent viewing - some of the effects are plain marvellous, the flaming ball and rocket propelled boat being some of them! The way the pieces are set up is also very interesting, with some of the objects seemingly moving of their own accord, when actually maybe a piece of polystyrene has been dissolved, or a chock pulled away. The only annoyances are the slight editing of the shots (only when a long reaction takes place, so foam doesn't have to be watched building up) which slightly removes the obvious linear nature of the piece by making it harder to see what caused what. The menu is ordered in titles like "reaction" or "kinetics" for different scene selection, making you think about what type of reactions you wanted to review. This might be annoying for some, but overall the effect is hugely entertaining, and some of the reactions made me laugh out loud for their ingenious use of common materials, coupled with explosions, flames and whizz-bangs! A must for anyone who wants something slightly strange but very worthwhile in their DVD or Video collection.

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5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

The Way This One Goes...

Author: Jason Rivers ( from Phoenix, AZ, USA
23 March 2005

Every time I see this movie... I think to myself "why didn't I think of that?" It seems so easy, yet it's so complex. The rolling of tires uphill, the skyrocket speedboat, and the untwisting of plastic bags. It is crazy how interesting boring everyday objects become when they're put into a sequence that actually accomplishes... nothing! This is a wonderful film about NOTHING. It's all a setup to do NOTHING... but I see it as a metaphor for life sometimes... I go to work day in and day out and perform some meaningless tasks that relate to other people's meaningless tasks over and over again to do what? NOTHING. To just come back the next day and do it all over again. Maybe that's why I like this movie so much... I'm just another trash bag in a building unwinding over and over and over and over.....

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Chain reaction

Author: Thomas ( from Berlin, Germany
2 July 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Der Lauf der Dinge" or "The Way Things Go" is a documentary film from 1987, so this one will have its 39th anniversary next year. It is a Swiss-American co-production and the two filmmakers in here are Peter Fischli and the late David Weiss. Their movie here runs for slightly under half an hour and is basically a chain-reaction from start to finish. Physicists and chemists may have a great time watching all the reaction and developments in here, but everybody else will be bored just like I was I guess. For general audiences, it is really only worth seeing during the first 5 minutes and then it becomes all the same basically, even if that is certainly not true from a scientific perspective. The good thing is that there is no dialogue in here, so no matter where you are from, you can watch it. There are no actors or interviewees in here either as a consequence. I personally do not see this as a decent watch for general audiences. Thumbs down, even if I appreciate the filmmakers' effort as this was certainly one hell of a film to make in terms of difficulty.

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Not much of a learning opportunity, but fascinating fun nonetheless

Author: ThurstonHunger from Palo Alto, CA, USA
9 May 2010

Watched this with the kids, and we enjoyed it. My favorite was the shoes, they probably preferred the rocket-launched tea kettle. The DVD we saw comes with no explanation or any bonus features, so it is just what it is, a nice string of altering forces, a fair amount of flash paper and fuel to ignite attention if not budding pyromania.

Looks like one of the artists has shown in the Bay Area in the past, would be nice to see more stuff like this without traveling to the collegiate Rube Goldberg competitions.

Youtubing around looks like there may be a Japanese TV show that offers contraptions like this... We are all dominoes...

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

feel the love!

Author: marymorrissey from United States
19 October 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I'm pleased to see everyone is pretty positive in their reactions to this deeelightful movie. You'd have to be a real stick in the mud not to be sucked right into this like a little kid gone hog wild with his chemistry set playing with matches, sharp objects, etc.

One thing I will add is that makes it especially satisfying - this Rube Goldberg contraption - is that many of the little tasks at intervals in the process that's filmed look as though they won't come off, and just barely seem to make it, adding suspense. I guess a Rube Goldberg device is usually on the quick side, but Der Lauf der Dinge is actually very slow and that essentially for the purpose of wonderful little cliffhangers within this short piece.

I caught it once in the late 80ss screening before a feature. I can't for the life of me remember what I went to see it with. And people writing recall details I don't remember at all. It would seem to be about time to track this little film down and luxuriate in its oddly ordered little world once again!!

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

When a hobby goes astray ...

Author: therapy_be from Kapellen, Belgium
4 June 2003

I only saw this movie once, on Arte (French-German cultural TV-channel). I can't remember what year it was, but it was at last 10 years ago. And to this day, I am still flabbergasted at what I have seen (talk about impact). The sequence of things pushing others things over, rolling against again other things, setting in motion yet more things, ... it was totally mindboggling. It just kept on going, seemingly pointless. And now, with that Honda commercial, finally I have found what movie it was. Let's hope I won't forget it's name this time!

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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Amusing & distracting popular science demo

Author: nickname1 from (e.g. London, England)
11 August 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***


This ~20 minute film records the progress of a series of energy transfers between familiar objects (kinetic, thermal, electrical, chemical). It will be familiar to anyone who has seen the Honda 'Cog' advert except that that sequence used mainly kinetic energy transfers. (Apparently the advert is 'inspired by' the film but not based on it).

It's amusing but not jaw-droppingly attention-grabbing to anyone who's already seen 'Cog'. Unfortunately it's rather repetitive and slow by comparison with 'Cog', but it was first and had a zero budget instead of Cog's 6 million pound one.

I still like 'The Way things go' though as it does have very nice touches (rocket powered and arrested burning car tyres!)and is probably the most entropic cross between 'Mousetrap' and toppling rows of dominos imaginable.

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