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.