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Dreams Rewired (Mobilisierung der Träume)
by Rose Finlay

Director: Martin Reinhart, Manu Luksch, Thomas Tode

According to one of the film’s three directors Manu  Luksch, Dreams Rewired “…aims to  enchant its viewers while changing their perceptions of our media-saturated  present. I hope that through revisiting past dreams and anxieties, our audience  members can reconsider the so-called exceptionalism of the Internet age.” And  so they created an essay film using clips from promotions and advertisements as  from works by silent era masters such as Sergei Eisenstein, D.W. Griffith, and  Hans Richter to demonstrate the point that everyone has always been terrified  of technology and progress. One hundred years ago, mankind was struggling with  the same hopes and fears about technology as we do today. Will it lead to the  degradation of society? Will it be used to spy on us? These are all questions  that have been repeated over and over again since almost the beginning of the  Industrial Age. What started out as hopeful dreams in the Victorian Era soon  progressed to a world where technology can be almost too close. Dreams Rewired discusses these fears and  hopes through the lens of film by taking the viewer on a journey from the 19th  century to modern times. 

The only problem with all of this is that the  general pace and style of the film is beyond boring. Actually, that might be  too nice. Considering it is supposed to be quite intellectual, it fails by  becoming almost mind numbing, the antithesis of enlightening. The essay is slow  and plodding (even being narrated by Tilda Swinton cannot save it) and often patronizing in its repetitions and lack  of subtlety. It is easy to see what the filmmakers were trying to say from the  beginning, and then they just continue to say the same point over and over  again. Perhaps it would have been more evocative in half the time as a short  film, but the way it was shown it was a relief when the 88 minutes were over.